It’s Friday afternoon, you just finished a week of work, and you are at the gym plowing through your workout in anticipation of downing a few beers with friends. BUT, did you know that drinking after weight training might be blunting your training goals—especially if you are male!
That’s right, a recent study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research reported that heavy drinking (1.09 g alcohol/kg fat free mass) for 10 minutes immediately after training (males: about 5 drinks in 10 min; females: about 3 drinks in 10 min) can blunt markers of anabolism in males. Interestingly, males and females had similar anabolic responses to weight training without alcohol on board, but post-exercise alcohol consumption resulted in a ~40% decrease in mTOR phosphorylation (a marker of anabolic signalling) in men compared to placebo.
ACTION POINT: Many college aged guys and girls head out for night of drinking after a hard workout. However, based on the latest data, such behaviour will likely produce diminishing returns. For benefits to your health and muscular gains (regardless of sex), we suggest avoiding alcohol whenever possible and limiting consumption when you decide to imbibe.
Reference: Duplanty AA, Budnar RG, Luk HY, Levitt DE, Hill DW, McFarlin BK, Huggett DB, Vingren JL. Effect of Acute Alcohol Ingestion on Resistance Exercise Induced mTORC1 Signaling in Human Muscle. J Strength Cond Res. 2016 Apr 21. [Epub ahead of print]