Everyone likes to drink on occasion (or more) and there isn’t anything wrong with that permitting you understand what moderation is and that YOU control alcohol and alcohol DOESN’T control you. Just keep a few things in mind. Alcohol is VERY calorie dense, (second to fat as a matter of fact) and at a whopping seven calories per gram (yikes!), they are considered to be ‘empty calories’ in that they provide no nutritional benefits for the body. In addition, alcohol blocks protein and vitamin absorption, so good luck with the muscle gains you’re trying to acquire in the gym. I’d also recommend not drinking alcohol with a meal because it’s so calorie dense, you will be double dipping on the calories. As you may already know, your body converts alcohol to sugar and we all know that anything in excess eventually converts into fat and is stored in the body. Lastly, since alcohol is a sedative and slows down the central nervous system and lowers your inhibitions, you will be most likely to eat more (pie and cakes) than you would under normal circumstances.
Although alcohol may pose some health risk if consumed in excess, it does have some secondary benefits that bodybuilders do enjoy. Aside from its euphoric attraction, alcohol has been proven to improve vascularity and also acts as an antidiuretic hormone inhibitor, which helps to prevent water from being stored, while a typical diuretic flushes out the subcutaneous water. All in all, you should know by now how alcohol will affect your body (both useful and hurtful ways) and you should limit your intake accordingly.
Don’t ask – don’t tell
It’s the unwritten rule in the bodybuilding world that you shouldn’t ask nor should you divulge your supplement secrets to others. In fact it’s so unwritten, I’ll do the honor of writing it. Sure, if you like to discuss your ‘secret solutions’ with others, then go do it – but if you’re one of those gym goers that likes to approach every other fitness guru in the gym and ask them what supplements they take; two chops to the throat – it’s uncouth so don’t do it. This would be equivalent to Sara Lee asking Aunt Jemima for her pancake recipe. She would probably get the waffle iron thrown at her. With this aside, why assume that these individuals even take supplements, they are probably just more dedicated and devote more time to diet/exercise. Secondly, it doesn’t matter what kind of supplements you take, it should never replace the need for a strict diet and proper exercise.
Supplementation is typically to assist certain people with that ‘plateau phase’ that they experience from time to time and need that extra boost. So be the professional one and don’t ask and don’t tell. Who’s to say you will look as good as the next person even if you were on the same diet/exercise plan including or excluding the same supplements – genetics will set you apart from the next person, PERIOD.
Workout on an empty stomach
This is a dieting tip that I learned quite some time ago but when I really want to lean out quickly for a shoot I work out on an empty stomach. Keeping this in mind, it’s much easier to work out on an empty stomach early morning, so you don’t have to starve throughout the day until later. Using this method, your body is able to deplete its stored fat and utilize this as energy as opposed to the breakfast or lunch that you just ate. To avoid getting the shakes, just drink a low calorie sports drink like Power or Gatorade to get you through your training.
Pre workout drinks/Post workout drinks
Look at how calorie dense your pre/post workout drinks are. If they are over 200 calories for the entire container, you may be ingesting too many calories at once. If this occurs, obviously you won’t lose any weight and your heart will be in overdrive trying to not only supply your body with the blood it needs for your workout, but also to digest the food/shake, which may leave you feeling lethargic. Some gym goers are consuming way too many calories during their gym time. You don’t need a pre and post workout drink. Some even consume an additional drink while they are working out. Why? If you are trying to look like Hulk, sure maybe, but the additional calories will ultimately be stored around your waste and other unwanted areas. Your muscles can only consume up to 35 grams of protein at one sitting, the rest is stored or excreted as waste. You can’t force your body to consume any more protein than it wants to. So don’t waste the additional time, money, and useless calorie consumption on these drinks. A protein drink afterwards (within 20 minutes of a workout) will be sufficient.