Planning on “bulking”? Make sure to cross booze off your shopping list!

If your ultimate fitness goal is to gain muscle mass (aka “bulking”), you may want to reconsider rewarding yourself with a beer after hitting the gym.

A study in 2013 investigated the effect of alcohol intake on muscle cells rejuvenation after working out. The researchers followed a group of physically active males who were provided with three different post-workout meals: protein, protein-alcohol, and carbohydrate-alcohol. Participants in the alcohol treatment groups received roughly twelve standard drinks, which was meant to resemble post-event binge drinking of team athletes. The workout included resistance training, followed by continuous and high intensity interval cycling. This exercise plan was intended to mimic the plans followed by many sports teams. The result showed that alcohol, even when co-ingested with protein, decreased the rate of muscle protein synthesis by 24% compared to protein alone. Furthermore,  the rate of muscle protein synthesis from alcohol-carbohydrate ingestion decreased by 37% compared to protein alone.

Overall, the data from this study demonstrated that even when co-ingested with a high-protein diet, alcohol can still suppress the build-up of muscle mass. In other words, skipping alcohol after a workout is probably a good idea!

Summary written by: Lucy Nguyen

To read the full article, please click the following link:

Alcohol Ingestion Impairs Maximal Post-Exercise Rates of Myofibrillar Protein Synthesis following a Single Bout of Concurrent Training

Evelyn B. Parr, Donny M. Camera, José L. Areta, Louise M. Burke, Stuart M. Phillips, John A. Hawley, Vernon G. Coffey

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