Alcohol Effects on Fitness – Bad For Your Gains?

Oh, alcohol, why must you be so cruel? You
make me stumble around, scream out loud for no reason, pee 10 times in an hour, and perform
dares that I wouldn’t even dare to think about it when I’m sober. But at least you don’t
take away my gainz. Or… do you? How does alcohol affect your fitness gains?
Many of us have at least the “occasional” drinking nights and sometimes the rare “extreme”
drinking nights, but we hardly think about how it might affect us fitness-wise. One way
drinking affects us physiologically is by dehydration. Since alcohol is a diuretic,
the more you drink, the more you urinate, the more you’re dehydrated. In worse case
scenarios, excessive drinking can lead to severe dehydration and electrolyte imbalance.
Pair this with increased levels of a toxin known as acetaldehyde from drinking, you’re
ripe with the recipe for a hangover. Not so fun fact, acetaldehyde is also classified
as a Group 1 carcinogen, the same group as tobacco, asbestos, aaaand processed meat.
And it’s also the reason why many East Asian ethnicities have alcohol flush reactions,
aka “Asian Glow,” due to a mutation of the enzyme in charge of breaking down this toxin.
Of course, with dehydration and a hangover, you’ll feel increases in fatigue, sluggishness,
confusion, and your chances of going to the gym plummets to a near zero. And if it needs
to be spelled out, no gym equals no gainz. In fact, your gainz might already be affected
even if you don’t exercise. Studies show that low alcohol consumption, about 40 grams or
so, or 1 drink, has really no effect on the muscle growth promoting hormone testosterone.
However, that starts changing as you continue to drink more. 10 to 16 hours after consuming
3 drinks, shown to reduce testosterone levels in your body by 23%. This drop does not come
back to normal levels until 36 hours later. That’s a whole 1 and a half day you’re spending
with subpar muscle protein synthesis, and the studies also show that the worse your
hangovers feel, the lower your testosterone drops. And even worse, alcohol has been connected
to decreasing leucine oxidation, which is also important for building muscle.
Oh, and it doesn’t stop there for your hormones. Moderate amounts of alcohol has shown to also
inhibit the hormone Leptin, which is responsible for making you feel full. If you’re trying
to lose weight, good luck battling those cravings for nachos after a long night of drinking.
Speaking of losing weight or even just losing bodyfat, alcohol will also affect how your
body uses energy. Typically your body uses glucose and fat as energy through the glycolytic
and oxidative pathway. But once you introduce alcohol, your body quickly shifts its focus
from glucose and fat to breaking down alcohol for energy instead. Alcohol itself contains
roughly 7 calories per gram, which your body breaks down into acetaldehyde and then into
acetic acid and then finally a useable energy source known acetyl CoA. While this process
takes place, your body won’t be utilizing any other energy sources in your body, which
means all the calories you consume while intoxicated will be converted into stored fat and any
chances of burning fat for the duration is not going to happen.
And most of all, alcohol lowers your quality of sleep. After a night of drinking, studies
show that when you go to bed, you do in fact fall asleep quicker and into deeper sleep,
but it’s quickly disrupted and REM sleep, the deepest of all the sleep stages, is overall
reduced. When you’re asleep, much of the mechanisms for muscle synthesis and recovery takes place.
Disrupt that, and you disrupt your muscle growth.
So if you have a fitness goal that you’re desperately trying to reach, alcohol consumption
is perhaps one of your worst enemies. But if you do choose to drink, drink moderately
and choose healthier, low calorie choices. Come check out this previous video that might
help you do just that. Please also come check out PictureFit on Patreon
and like and subscribe. Thanks for watching.


  1. Shit I feel real bad about them tequila shots then still hitting the gym can't be slackin

  2. Will you please answer a question about milk? I have read different ideas about milk and bodybuilding. Some people say that only raw milk is beneficent for muscle growth.

  3. Idk man I'm pretty ripped and I drink pretty heavy

  4. I'm literally drunk and I worked out today and now I'm watching this

  5. As if I needed another reason besides a hangover to dislike alcohol

  6. i googled it bro.
    In the United States, one "standard" drink contains roughly 14 grams of pure alcohol, which is found in: 12 ounces of regular beer, which is usually about 5% alcohol. 5 ounces of wine, which is typically about 12% alcohol. 1.5 ounces of distilled spirits, which is about 40% alcohol….so by that standard 2 beers would = 28 grams of alcohol, switch to a light beer and you can probably have 3-4 without the negative effects but still try avoid drinking everyday for obvious reasons …am i wrong?..
    .guess my corona lights are safer by this standard (3.9%)

  7. What if I said that in 18 years of drinking I've had a handful of mornings where I felt like death? The traditional "hangover" I don't get. I wake up either still drunk and still go work out or stone sober and go work out. I know genetics and being a hereditary alcoholic play into it some but do you have any insight?

  8. plz do one on XTC/amfetamine's and cocaine and muscles because there is nothing more destructive for your muscles then that shit

  9. Who gives a shit… im gonna carry on drinking my alcohol.

  10. Alcohol as energy is amazing tbh. I feel like a beast when drinking

  11. 5 months alcohol free. My strength are increased dramatically.

  12. 40gm of Alcohol= how mch Ml of whisky???

  13. wow alcohol is a piece of shit(even worse more like physical temporary poison)

  14. This video has an error, REM is not the deepest sleep stage. It is actually the state of which you are the least deep state of sleep, nevertheless it is important to getting a good night sleep.

  15. what if I drink one beer once every few months and exercise almost every day

  16. Also should have mentioned beer has high levels of estrogen.
    See the brainwashing on tv though- they advertising beer as a real mans drink, and all these guys thinking yeah I'm a real bloke I drink beer 😅. Sad world

  17. Alrdesy dnrku ryt nwo, goodnhgit eveyr bod

  18. Stopped drinking for over 5 months now, never touching that shit again

  19. Bro you saying alot of big words and talking way too fast. This is a video trying to educate drunk people, you gotta relax.

  20. REM is actually the opposite of the deepest sleep….this guy is full of it

  21. I work out first then after I take a few shots an boom next day same an SAMEEEE an I'm still fit

  22. That's why I prefer 2M2B

  23. To be honesti love your channel but even if thr studies cite all this stuff about alcohol I've actuslly had very good success in the fitness department while consuming alcohol daily. (avergae 8 drinks daily, occasional 750ml 80 proof binges). I am not defending alcohol, it's a horrible substance but I have better results in the gym than most people who rarely drink and eat way cleaner than i do. I've been told I have good genetics but I'm not convinved that is the case either.

  24. A drink a day keeps the doctor away time for a shot

  25. Makes you look cut as fuck in the morning

  26. Wait, wait, wait, wait….. You can get energy from alcohol? Irish I knew sooner…. 😛

  27. This explains why I always feel like I look smaller after a night out…

  28. I dont underatand why doctors say it's ok to have a drink daily.

  29. * Acetyl Co-A = acetyl-coenzyme-A 😉

  30. Does it really destroy my gains if I drink once (around 6-7beers) every 2 weeks?

  31. Ah the great bro paradox. We lift to look good at the bar even though the bar fucks with our gains. Best fix to this is to chug Gatorade or pedilyte after a night of drinking to replenish your electrolytes, pop an Advil, have a cup of coffee and go to the gym and do cardio.

  32. Running and lifting weights makes me feel drunk

  33. What about testosterone levels in women?

  34. so it prevents you from gaining muscle as fast but does it remove gains you already have?

  35. My arms were 45.5 before getting hammered and went to 43 so idk

  36. I was drunk & i was able to jerk off 4 times i was seriouslly drunk & i came 4 times & saying it decrease testosterone hhhh really & when im not drunk i can't doit 4 times sooo gg science!!!

  37. Once a week will do nothing

  38. When I'm drunk I fuck my uncle cause I'm an uncle fuccaaaa

  39. Do a video on Smoking and Vaping and working out plz

  40. I’d never drink in all my life

  41. Marijuana has exactly zero of these problems.

  42. I’ve made a mistake!!!

  43. the cons of alcohol consumption outweigh the pros here and besides slow or losing gains you will potentially lose alot of money

  44. Alcohol ruined my gym career

  45. Weed and fitness works, not alcohol though.

  46. 40g alcohol in one drink, what drinks are you drinking?

  47. Interesting…
    *chugs vodka redbull

  48. 1:08 fucking try ne

  49. All these alcohol comments.. seriously it doesn’t make you cool that you drink..

  50. Alcohol is the devil juice

  51. I’ve been going to the gym drunk pretty often lately this video hurt to watch

  52. Sooo one beer wont hurt?

  53. I have 4 drinks every night. Still seeing gains. NOW, If I get shit faced. Than, yes, I am not in the mood to hit the gym.


  55. Shit didn’t know it affected it that much

  56. Well i dont drink i smoke whats that doing to me i weight train 6x a week pretty good gains so far almost at 3 years training

  57. Last night I drank a bottle of whiskey and ate a pound of tofu. Please send gainz, I am desperate.

  58. Stop drinking, do drugs.

  59. REM is not the deepest of our EEG-sleep stages. NREM3 / Slow wave sleep is. REM is an emergent stage 1 which shows 8-12 Hz in an EEG. NREM3 is usually about 1-3Hz.

  60. REM-sleep is NOT the deepest stage of our sleep

  61. Watching this while drinking Old monk. Is it goin to affect my gains 😂🤣😂

  62. after i did my research about beer 🍻 i was drinking 4 bottles per day i love 😍 beer but after i readed it's effect i stoped its my 3rd day stopping i feel dizzy 😵

  63. Unrealistic shit 101
    Thank you lol jk thanks for nothing

  64. How about drinking 2 Liters of Vodka at once blyat?

  65. Idk if I drink that much to say I’m getting these effects like I won’t drink for two months then I’ll drink for a week straight my drinking is super inconsistent I don’t think I get these

  66. Question… How about 2 light beer, can reduce your muscles growth?

  67. I'm a kid i don't drink alcohol.

  68. So is it bad for muscles or not?

  69. No boy

  70. I 100% believe this

  71. But what about in reverse?

  72. But whenever i drink i feel so Big and empowered, doesnt that mean my testerone goes up?

  73. I'm glad I don't drink never had a sip in my life I'm 36 and in great shape

  74. Hey man, I know this is an old video, but can I make portuguese subtitles for you? This is very didactic and easy to understand. We don't have this kind of content in portuguese, so I want to translate it and send to you, so you can turn it into a subtitle.

  75. Thanks god we Muslims don't drink alcohol

  76. Alcohol is killing your gains..

  77. That's why u smoke green fools.

  78. Guys you got to get drunk on wine cuz when you wake up everything is back to normal

  79. Why does reality have to be so dissapointing dammit

  80. But, is it harmful to workout with a hangover? And if so, is there a difference between cardio and strength training?

  81. It depends

  82. Why it is more of the cause of and less of the solution to all of life's problems.

  83. Some of the best workouts I’ve ever had was while I’m hungover. The pain of breaking down muscle distracts me from feeling like I’m dying

  84. Shit I’ll drink to that

  85. If you are the type of alchoholic like me its easy to loose weight cuz i throw up everything xd

  86. At 23 I would drink like 18 shots and wake up the nest morning and go to the gym like whatever lol not no more lol

  87. Guys I swear that I swear that I'm not gonna fucking drink again in my life cuz really it's bad I don't want my gains to screw Up but I love you and I'm telling u u r the best cuz your so good I'm.not gonn drink😟😟

  88. Duuh?

  89. Stopped drinking for 2 1/2 yrs now. Not bragging just fucked up one to many times. Got into BMX racing, started a better diet then joined a gym to be more competitive on the bike. Drinking would now get in the way of my new direction. I'm happy to not be drinking anymore. Cheers!

  90. Red solo cup….I fill you up…let's have a PARTY

  91. Im 19 never drunk a sip, just dont like to use hard druggs

  92. Md is better

  93. Cox pisdi

  94. Hindi me video banona kaikooo dimag khata hair😠😠😠😠

  95. r u asapscience

  96. What if i drink every weekend, like saturday but only that day, until im drunk but i still go to the gym, follow my food plan (clean bulking) and drink a lot od wated? Can i still drink without affecting my clean gains? I only drink pisco with ginger ale without sugar

  97. Who's here because arnold schwarzenegger Secrets Protein shake

  98. Fuck alcohol im never going to drink the shit im 19 and have not ever smoke or drink fuck that shit

  99. The sleep disruption is so detrimental to all aspects of your life.
    Non alcoholic beers can be useful if your trying to wean yourself off the stuff.
    Good luck…

  100. Problem solved on insignificant gains.. I subbed. Thanks a lot

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