To Drink (Alcohol)…or Not to Drink? That is the Question.

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My good friends would tell you that I’m a heavy drinker….of spinach shakes. wink  But when it comes to alcohol I avoid it like I do Cinnamon Toast Crunch. And good thing too, it’s just as many calories. It’s in response to countless emails asking how alcohol can fit into your “fitness program” that I decided to dive into the subject and give you an overview on why alcohol can stunt your progress to build muscle mass and lose weight.  And since I doubt I can convince even the most conservative followers to cut alcohol out completely, I’ll ask instead that you treat alcohol like you would an occasional cheat meal.

Most people consume more calories drinking then they do in an average cheat meal! Here is quick overview of calories when it comes to your favorite drinks:

-Shot of 80 proof gin, rum, vodka, whiskey or Tequila (1.5 oz.) = 100 calories (approximately)

-Beer (12 oz.) = 110-150 calories (approximately)

-Cocktails (2.25 oz.+) = 125-400 calories (approximately)

-Wine (3-5 oz.) = 90-140 calories (approximately)

Now, some of you may be thinking that 100 calories for a glass of wine isn’t too shabby. However, many of my clients who drink are consuming about 500 calories in just an hour by nursing a couple beers and one to two shots. Calories from alcohol tend to add up quickly and before you know it your progress for the week’s healthy eating is down the toilet.

Aside from the extra calories, here are a few quick negative side effects of alcohol:

1. It reduces testosterone levels.

2. It interferes with all three sources of glucose in your body.

3.  It causes dehydration.

4. It depletes the vitamins and minerals in your body.

All of these side effects add up to decreased performance in the gym and reduction of muscle mass, which in turn makes it harder to burn fat.

So for this subject I preach moderation. Just like any other cheat meal plan in advance when you’re going to have a drink and try to limit yourself to one or two drinks, or just at special occasions (and no- Monday is not considered a special occasion).

Sources: There are many sources that confirm the side effects listed above. Some of which include:

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