Many of my clients like to have a drink every now and again. Some more than others ;)
When considering alcohol from a dieting standpoint most look straight to the nutritional information. How many calories are there, how many carbs etc?
So what is so detrimental about alcohol to your weight loss even if it’s a low calorie/carb drink?
It has to do with how your body processes alcohol, and the effects that process has on your body and your metabolism.
Hard workouts drain the glycogen stores (carbs stored in the liver and muscles) and leave your muscle tissue in need of repair. High levels of alcohol displace the carbs, leaving your stores still 50 percent lower than normal even eight hours later, according to one study.
When you drink, your body, besides having to deal with the surplus of calories, prioritizes metabolizing the alcohol over burning fat and carbs. Alcohol also breaks down amino acids and stores them as fat. It also increases levels of cortisol (a stress hormone), which further encourages fat storage, particularly in your midsection.
Drinking also disrupts your muscle recovery and performance by sapping your sleep. In a study of 93 men and women, researchers found that alcohol decreased sleep duration and increased wakefulness (particularly in the second half of the night), especially in women, whose sleep time was decreased by more than 30 minutes over the night. Disrupting the sleep cycle can reduce your human growth hormone output (which builds muscle) by as much as 70 percent.
Depleted Water and Nutrients
Alcohol irritates the stomach lining, which can reduce your capacity to absorb nutrients For every gram of ethanol you take in, you drain out 10 milliliters of urine (that's about 9.5 ounces for two beers). As little as 2 percent dehydration hurts endurance performance.