A definite relationship exists between the use of alcohol and BMI (body mass index) in patients studied. But it’s not the relationship you would think. Most people would simply assume that the people who drink more would weigh more, since they are consuming unchecked amounts of calories and using their gym time for doing shots, right? Not so fast! Studies actually show that people who do NOT contain alcohol actually weigh more than those who do.
Alcohol contains many empty calories, and we have all heard of the legendary “beer gut” often seen on people who drink too much, too often. However, this evidence shows that this isn’t inherently true. There may be some individuals who are classified as obese who happen to drink alcohol, but that line of thinking doesn’t match the statistics. How does this affect you as a bodybuilder (who may have a drink every now and then)? The answer doesn’t come easily, but closely analyzing the dietary practice of those studied leaves us with a very interesting finding. The people who consume 1-2 glasses of alcohol each evening are much less likely to consume large servings of food (typically containing carbs and fat). In other words, the bodybuilders (and others studied) who have a glass of wine in their stomach are less likely to go to the fridge for a snack which would be detrimental to their bodybuilding goals.
This can be defeated, however, through the use of strict dieting practices. However, this isn’t the norm for all of us, bodybuilders included. We tend to be much disciplined in the weeks before a show. The rest of the year, however, brings a gentle mix of common sense eating and a little bit of ‘looseness’ on the diet. Bodybuilders are going to snack, like everyone else. If a glass of red wine consumed about an hour after dinner provides the bodybuilder with a nice relaxing mindset – one which precludes the compulsive need for a sweet snack for that empty belly – then it may be worth it to give the nightly glass a shot! Alcohol also delivers excellent heart benefits, and helps with circulation. Many medical professionals do recommend a glass of red wine nightly for a longer lifespan.
There is another reason for this discrepancy – and one which should be noted by bodybuilders (particularly those dabbling in chemical assistance via AAS or GH/insulin). Moderate alcohol use has the noted effect of lowering blood insulin levels. Insulin is the tool which regulates body fat accumulation and burning. Possessing a better ability to manage insulin results in the possession of a leaner physique. Interestingly, alcohol assists with this. Insulin levels skyrocket when the bodybuilder consumes a snack laden with carbs and fats in the late hours of the day, which brings us back to the first topic of discussion here. The combination of lesser appetite for snacks, coupled with the improvement of the actual insulin mechanism, leads us to the conclusion that a bit of wine each evening may make us leaner and more capable of insulin function.