Alcohol is empty calories. It doesn’t have any nutrients, but does have a caloric value of 7 calories per gram. In just one shot (1.5oz) of 80 proof vodka there’s nearly 100 calories. For those of you trying to lose fat, forget it if you are drinking. Not only will the high calorie content of alcohol have a negative effect on your total calorie intake, but it also slows down your metabolism by disrupting the Kreb’s cycle.
Since the Kreb’s cycle isn’t working correctly, fats cannot be broken down. In short, your body is trying so hard to digest and metabolize the alcohol, that fat burning stops all together.
Alcohol consumption also hurts muscle growth. Not only due to hangovers lowering your workout intensity, but it actually lowers protein synthesis by 20%. Twenty percent! There are several reasons why it does this. For one, it dehydrates your muscle cells. As many know, hydrated and even over hydrated muscles (like when you take creatine) allows for a much higher anabolic environment.
Because your cells aren’t holding as much water, it becomes much harder to build muscle. The second reason why alcohol can severely hurt muscle growth is because it blocks the absorption of many important nutrients that are key to muscle contraction, relaxation and growth including calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron and potassium.
SLOWS DOWN PROTEIN SYNTHESIS
OK, so above I lied, there’s actually a third way that alcohol slows down protein synthesis, I just wanted to dedicate a big part of this article to it. For those of you that don’t already know this, ALCOHOL LOWERS TESTOSTERONE AND INCREASES ESTROGEN! Yes, you read that right. In one particular study, men’s testosterone levels were measured before and after consumption of alcohol.