Working out regularly and eating healthy is the basis of a healthy lifestyle. Alcohol consumption affects your muscles' ability to repair themselves after a workout. Your muscles need the proper nutrients in order achieve your well-deserved gains, and alcohol affects this process in many different ways. 

Empty Calories

Empty calories are calories that provide no nutritional value to your diet whatsoever. Alcohol is full of empty calories— a single shot of gin contains 97 calories and a 6oz glass of wine has anywhere between 110-300 calories, depending on its sweetness and alcohol content. The high calorie count and lack of nutrients is one way alcohol slows down your progress.

Muscle Growth

Protein synthesis is the process your muscles go through to grow. It is attained through regular exercise and adequate nutrition, which ensures that your muscles are able to repair and rebuild themselves efficiently. The protein synthesis process occurs for 24-48 hours post-workout, and consuming alcohol during this time can negatively affect it.

When you neglect this process, your body enters a catabolic state. In a catabolic state, your muscle tissues are breaking themselves down rather than building themselves up. Alcohol interrupts the protein synthesis process and does not allow your muscles to repair themselves the way they should after your sweat session. 


Muscle growth is determined by two hormones in our bodies: Testosterone and the Human Growth Hormone. Drinking alcohol can impact a number of the hormones your body releases by up to 70 per cent. This is another way that alcohol consumptions takes a toll on your well-deserved gains.

Alcohol is a high calorie and low nutrient liquid that dehydrates your body and alters hormone activity, making it difficult to achieve muscle growth. Your drinking habits may be why you are putting in hours at the gym but aren't seeing the results you want. If you want to be beach ready this summer, it's time you swap that cold brew for a protein shake.