Alcohol after exercise ‘disrupts your body’s efforts to recover’

Drinking a few beers after exercise may be highly satisfying but, according to a new study, it also appears to disrupt the body’s recovery process.

Researchers followed 10 men and nine women. All the participants did the same workout — six sets of 10 squat exercises with weights — but afterwards half were given water and the other half water-diluted vodka.

The team took muscle biopsies before the workout and then two hours and five hours after. The vodka group experienced a sharp reduction in muscle growth.

The researchers found that drinking alcohol reduced the activation of mTORC1, a chemical pathway that stimulates muscle growth after exercise.

The effect was more pronounced in men than in women. Co-author Jakob Vingren, of the University of North Texas, said this suggested that alcohol’s effect on testosterone may be to blame.

Testosterone helps muscle growth and after exercise men experience a greater rise in testosterone than women.

Vingren said: ‘If you’re doing heavy resistance training, if you’re going to go out drinking that night, don’t go to the gym right before.

‘It’s possible the next day you’re going to be worse off than if you hadn’t gone to the gym.’

Instant analysis
If you’re one of those men who feels you’ve justified having a couple of pints after a workout in the gym, you may be undoing any good work that you’ve done more than you think.

Apart from putting alcohol-based calories back into the body, this American study found that taking alcohol shortly after exercise appears to affect a chemical pathway necessary for effective repair and growth of muscle.

Drinking reduces the activation of mTORC1, a chemical pathway that stimulates the muscle-growing process after exercise, and men appear to be affected more than women because alcohol is particularly damaging to testosterone.

This is more of a sensible advice piece of research rather than one that will significantly impact on medicine, but it does at least give some scientific credence to the common sense view of not drinking alcohol after heavy exercise.
Research score: 3/5

  • Sean L

    Depends how old you are.

  • Ed  

    “Alcohol after exercise ‘disrupts your body’s efforts to recover”

    Well, this has an obvious answer. Skip the exercise.

    • red2black

      Nice pun.

  • rbw152

    Oh dear. I occasionally re hydrate with beer after a run. My thinking was ‘it’s all mostly water anyway’.

    Maybe drink beer first and then go for a run?

  • davidofkent

    For other gym enthusiasts, an hour’s workout seems to cry out for the reward of cheesecake. I bet that does the body a lot of good.

  • Jeff

    Gated Communities

    Gated communities are taking on an important role in modern politics. Donald Trump grew up in a gated community, and made his fortune building gated communities that illegally exclude African-Americans. Trump’s approach is not based on ideology, but on consumer demand, and in particular, the demand of the working class to live in a place where there are no minority groups, criminals, wierdos or politically correct (Catholic educated) people.

    A gated community has a number of characteristics. There is ideally a six metre high concrete wall to keep out intruders. When the wall surrounds a very large number of houses, the average cost of the wall becomes insignificant. Getting past the security guards is like going through customs. Hence there is no crime in a gated community, and children can roam unsupervised in complete safety. Parents can be sure their daughters will not encounter males that would be unsuitable sons-in-law.

    Allotments are typically quarter-acre or five acres (one-tenth or two hectares). Houses are fireproof and of a similar appearance. Services are provided by underground ducts, including pneumatic mail delivery. Television and internet are unobtrusively censored.

    There is a shopping centre with a supermarket and other key shops. Prices are controlled to prevent gouging. There is a club for men and older boys from which women are excluded. On the top of the shopping centre is a hospital and old people’s home overlooking a race track and playing fields.

    There is a non-denomination church, which has leather sofas instead of pews, and wallpaper with pictures of saints like in an eastern orthodox church. The priest is a family man employed by the management committee. There is a co-educational school, so that if children conceive a passionate desire for a classmate, it will be someone of the opposite gender. The school has international baccalaureate and no homework.

    Once people move into a gated community, it occurs to them that, instead of their having to move into a gated community, it would be better if the “undesirables” were forced to live in ghettos, or were kicked out of the country altogether. No doubt this is what Donald Trump has in mind. The Conservative Party should take on board this trend in modern living and become the party for people who live or would like to live in gated communities. eu