How bad is alcohol for your gains?
In our newest article, Menno Henselmans and I discuss the effects of alcohol on hormones, muscle signaling, muscle recovery, and muscle protein synthesis. As you will see, the harm is in the dose. But also in the gender (surprise for the women).
First, we discuss how alcohol can impact testosterone levels in men. Surprisingly, light drinking can actually acutely *increase* testosterone levels. However, muscle trouble arises at higher doses (4+ US glasses), with binge drinking (9+ US glasses) lowering testosterone by up to 23% the day after.
Better news for women: moderate drinking acutely increases their estrogen levels, which could *help* muscle building. Also, in women drinking 5+ glasses per week is associated with higher overall estrogen levels, therefore possibly creating an optimal hormonal milieu for muscle growth.
Want to know about alcohol’s direct effects on muscle protein synthesis and muscle recovery?