Alcohol is an interesting beast. Many Americans consume alcohol each week. It can both improve and destroy lives. Many families have fallen apart due to alcohol abuse, but let’s be honest- alcohol often leads to the procreation which leads to these families being started! Alcohol can be very good when used in moderation, and very deadly when used in excess. Let’s check out some of the more common alcohol-related tidbits which affect the bodybuilder.
Every year, thousands of Americans die of liver disease which is a result of above-average to extreme alcohol use. Before you use alcohol, you should ensure you have healthy liver enzyme levels. You should never consume more than two glasses each night, under any circumstance, if you want to be a successful bodybuilder and be healthy to boot!
One to two glasses of wine each night is recommended by many health professionals as a way to relax at night and release many of the benefits of low-dose alcohol.
Alcohol use results in lowered testosterone levels. There is no way around it. If you are running testosterone supplementation (400 to 800 mg weekly of any testosterone ester), this will not be an issue. If you’re a natural bodybuilder, you could be facing a decrease which could hurt gym gains and libido.
Alcohol use actually leads to an improvement of insulin levels in the body. Many bodybuilders who use insulin on a daily basis may take this as a green light to drink, but nothing could be further from the truth. Any time the use of injectable insulin takes place, you should avoid drinking altogether. Insulin supplementation should only take place by advanced, committed bodybuilders who have the discipline to put the alcohol aside while running their cycles.
Studies have shown that moderate alcohol use actually elevates DHEA levels. This useful hormone, which normally decreases with age, is the foundation for many other hormone functions in the muscle building process.
Heart attacks kill one-third of Americans. There is a growing amount of evidence which shows small amounts of alcohol can relax the blood vessels, increase circulation, and remove stress to the point where the chances of heart disease are lessened. Red wine is useful in this case – shots of tequila are not!
There is always a danger of dehydration when consuming alcohol. To combat this, the bodybuilder should drink two cups of water per one glass of wine consumed. If you’re already consuming the recommended one gallon of water per day for bodybuilders, this will not be a problem.
Often, bodybuilders do not consider the effects of the supplements they consume upon the other foods, drinks, and medications they put into their body. Some supplements such as creatine can lead to dehydration. When taken very closely in the day to your glass of red wine, they can place the kidneys in a potentially compromising situation. Avoid mixing supplements with alcohol, and remember that drinking a lot of water can forgive many mistakes.
If you do not currently use alcohol, you should probably not start. If you do drink moderately, you should switch to a glass of red wine each night in order to enjoy the full positive effects with minimal negative effects.