Alcohol Interferes with Muscle Growth

Most coaches ban or discourage drinking alcohol during the season. They believe intuitively that drinking and training don’t mix. A review of literature by researchers from the University of Padova in Italy concurred with this long-standing athletic practice. Short-term or long-term consumption of alcohol interferes with protein synthesis. Alcohol interferes directly with the mTOR pathway in muscle, which is largely responsible for muscle growth. It inhibits with the activity of IGF-1, which is a powerful muscle growth factor, and it also alters the activity of luteinizing hormone, which regulates testosterone production. Alcohol increases cortisol levels, which promotes protein breakdown and suppresses the immune system. Moderate alcohol consumption (one to two drinks per day) has little effect on protein synthesis— at least in young adults. (Nutrition & Metabolism, 11:26, 2014)

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