Alcohol and Muscle Building – 7 Facts You Should Know

alcohol muscle building

The non-alcoholic beer after your workout is especially popular with endurance athletes. But what about alcohol and muscle building? We explain how alcohol affects your muscle building and how you can still have a drink every now and then.

Strength or endurance training aims to make your muscles fitter. Unfortunately, all scientific facts speak against the use of alcohol during muscle building.

Researchers have found that even the smallest amount of alcohol significantly reduces your athletic performance 1 . This is due to the fact that alcohol counteracts your recovery and muscle building on a biochemical level.

Our tip for a quick recovery

If your muscles burn after a workout, we recommend our Recovery Aminos . Because your success doesn’t end in the gym.

Alcohol and Muscle Building – 7 Facts

1. Alcohol inhibits the release of growth hormones

Alcohol lowers your testosterone level . Testosterone is involved in natural anabolic (muscle building) processes. This effect is responsible for the fact that alcohol counteracts muscle building.

2. Alcohol slows down the absorption of vital substances and replenishes your glycogen stores

Potassium is essential for replenishing your glycogen stores . Despite the fact that beer contains potassium and other important vital substances, alcohol prevents your body from absorbing it and using it for recovery.

3. Alcohol removes water from your body

This entails the danger of dehydration, makes the breakdown of harmful substances more difficult and prevents your muscles from being supplied with sufficient nutrients. Without nutrients, your muscles don’t have enough energy to grow or recover after exercise.

4. Alcohol widens your blood vessels

The widening of your blood vessels due to alcohol causes your body to cool down. For example, you need more energy to maintain a normal temperature. You take this energy away from your recovery.

5. Alcohol increases the release of cortisol

Cortisol is a stress hormone that has a catabolic, muscle breakdown, effect. The anabolic effects obtained by sports are counteracted – alcohol limits your muscle building.

In addition, cortisol reduces the function of your immune system. Your body, which is a bit weaker after exercise anyway, becomes even more susceptible to infection when alcohol is involved.

6. Alcohol causes a bad night’s sleep

During your sleep, harmful substances are broken down and your muscles are built up. The more you exercise, the more time your body has to spend at rest to recover. Sleeping is sacred . You should try to avoid anything that bothers you.

7. Alcohol makes you fat

First, alcohol is high in calories and excess calories are stored as fat . Second, alcohol is first converted into acetate in your liver, instead of fat as an energy supplier. During this process, your liver itself produces more unhealthy fats.

As you can see, alcohol does not help with muscle building. What does help is the right nutrition. For us, that means protein power for your muscles. In order to build muscle effectively and for a long time, it is important that you get enough protein. Protein is the number 1 fuel for your muscles. With our protein products you support your fitness goal. It doesn’t matter whether you opt for a creamy protein shake after your workout or a slice of protein bread with avocado and cottage cheese for breakfast – we have something for every taste! Became curious?

Alcohol impairs your muscle building and long-term performance

The effect of alcohol on your body is still noticeable after a few days. Scientists from New Zealand found that alcohol negatively affects your muscle building and strength for several days .

Athletes show up to 50% less muscle performance 2 to 3 days after drinking alcohol 2 . This can also have a mental effect: the less performance, the worse your training and the less pleasure and motivation you experience.

Alcohol and Sports – When?

No alcohol is simply the best for muscle building and sports performance. But not always feasible from a practical point of view. If you still want to drink, choose a training-free day , when your last intensive session has already been 3 to 4 days and will not be the next morning either.

But it doesn’t have to be one or the other. If it is fun, you can also have a non-alcoholic cocktail or beer . Enough choice! Tastes just like a real beer and is good for your sports performance. And the next morning you will be fit!

Still, an occasional glass of alcohol won’t hurt your athletic career either. Everything in moderation .


  • Alcohol reduces your muscle building and recovery.
  • Alcohol and sports don’t mix.
  • If you do want to drink, avoid intensive training sessions 2 days before and after.
  • Beer is a valuable sports drink – as long as it is non-alcoholic.
  • Non-alcoholic beer, wine or cocktail are the perfect alternative.
  • The less alcohol the better.

Our tip:

Take your muscle building training to the next level with our free Body Check . Set your goal, have your BMI calculated and receive personal nutrition and training advice.

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