Alcohol Inhibits Muscle Protein Synthesis

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Most coaches advise athletes to avoid alcohol during intense training. It turns out they were right. Alcohol consumption slows protein synthesis triggered by resistive exercise— according to a study on mice by scientists from Penn State College of Medicine. The animals received 10 sets of six repetitions of electrical muscle stimulation. Two hours later, they were injected with enough alcohol to cause intoxication. Electrical stimulation increased protein synthesis by 28 percent, but the alcohol stopped the process. If these results apply to humans, athletes should refrain from alcohol consumption following intense exercise designed to increase muscle mass. (Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 39: 1-10, 2015)

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