The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness
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The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness

It’s no secret that when people contradict themselves, it has the effect of making the flaws in their actions or statements seem glaringly obvious. But what about when WE ourselves get caught contradicting ourselves by someone else?

By: Nick Tumminello Added: January 6th, 2014
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Thread: Alcohol

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  1. #1
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    Alcohol

    I have severely cut down my drinking since starting to seriously lift, but have a few questions:

    1. Say I have dinner straight after working out. Would 1 or 2 drinks an hour later have any real effect on gains?

    2. If I had around 8 drinks a day or two after lifting, how much would that mess up recovery?

    3. If I lift when I'm hungover, I tend to be significantly stronger than normal (setting PRs), even though I have to skull about 2 glasses of water between every set lol - is anyone else like this? What would be the reason for this?

    4. Do different types of alcohol make any difference?

    5. How much do all of you drink, and when (in relation to your training)?

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  3. #2
    Soon to be lean... Joe Black's Avatar
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    Rather than address each of your questions, I'll just give my take on alcohol.

    Generally it's best avoided entirely if you want maximum gains - regardless of the negative impact it has on muscle growth (someone else can get scientific here) it's loaded with useless calories and the day after a few drinks I tend to feel crappy, am more likely to eat crap and not train.

    As with everything moderation is key. A few here or there isn't going to make much of a difference if everything else is on track, but big sessions are gonna throw things off track. I;d stick to shorts with diet soda to reduce calorie intake and just stick to a few, don;t go binge drinking.

    Here is quite a good post on Alcohol - http://www.leangains.com/2010/07/tru...nd-muscle.html

    I think he has chosen to be a little sensational to get attention, but some good advice in there generally.
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  4. #3
    Senior Member soclydeza's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by greemah View Post
    I have severely cut down my drinking since starting to seriously lift, but have a few questions:

    1. Say I have dinner straight after working out. Would 1 or 2 drinks an hour later have any real effect on gains?
    i dont think so. in some circles of nutrition, 1 drink of acohol a day is actually recommended. not for anything involving muscle though, at least to my knowledge

    2. If I had around 8 drinks a day or two after lifting, how much would that mess up recovery?
    as long as it isnt all the time, going out with your buddies for drinks shouldn't be a problem. work your ass off in the gym, but dont forget about your social life too.

    3. If I lift when I'm hungover, I tend to be significantly stronger than normal (setting PRs), even though I have to skull about 2 glasses of water between every set lol - is anyone else like this? What would be the reason for this?
    i dont know the reason. i dont necessarily feel this with lifting, but ive had hangover days when i felt more on the ball, like i had increased brain function or something.

    4. Do different types of alcohol make any difference?
    all depends on whatever other crap is in the drinks. alcohol itself will dehydrate you, drinking a margarita would make things 10 times worse than drinking a beer though. wine is said to be good for you if you have 1 drink per day, but in excess (dont quote me on this) i believe it dehydrates you much worse than beer, at least thats the way i feel. if i want to drink "healthily", ill have a light beer or vodka and light cranberry juice.

    5. How much do all of you drink, and when (in relation to your training)?
    ive slowed down a lot in the past few years. on average, i drink maybe once a month. and even when i do, i dont drink the same volume that i used to. its still fun, but starting to get boring.
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    Last edited by soclydeza; 08-11-2010 at 04:45 PM.
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  5. #4
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    thanks guys, and thanks for the link Daniel it had good info - not so much joey54

    Just a side question - I have a social occasion coming up and I'll be having a few drinks, but im currently on creatine. Since they have opposite effects, is it best to not take creatine that day or have extra or the same? I will be having extra water between drinks etc

  7. #6
    Soon to be lean... Joe Black's Avatar
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    I don't think it's gonna make a difference - I'd just do what you normally do and try your best to limit damage by sticking to shorts and keeping it sensible.
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  8. #7
    Moderator joey54's Avatar
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    I'm actually only half joking, as I work in the drug and alcohol field. Don't want to preach, but in all honesty the questions you are asking should make you seriously reconsider your drinking patterns, so much.


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  9. #8
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    drink a buttload of water

  10. #9
    Senior Member soclydeza's Avatar
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    i never go to a drinking occasion (unless its a public occasion) where i dont bring a bottle of water and half gal of milk. my friends laugh at me lol, but at least im keeping my nutrition somewhat consistent. i think the worst part about going out and drinking when you're a weightlifter isnt so much the damage from the night, but the lack of hydration and food. i dont know about you guys, but when i drink i never get hungry, so i always bring stuff with me to make sure i eat. another plus to this is it drastically reduces the effects of hangovers
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  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by joey54 View Post
    I'm actually only half joking, as I work in the drug and alcohol field. Don't want to preach, but in all honesty the questions you are asking should make you seriously reconsider your drinking patterns, so much.
    I'm probably an alcoholic with very good self control - I wish I could have some drinks every night and get smashed in the weekends all the time but I know how unhealthy that would be so I don't, and luckily I am into lifting and good dieting which gives me a reason to limit alcohol. I was just asking as I have a friends party coming up where everyone will be drinking which will be kind of boring if I don't drink, and also it's nice to have a drink when I go out for tea on occasion which there is a decent chance that will be very soon after lifting

    Thanks for responses all, think I'll just have extra water while drinking, limit intake as much as possible, and make sure to have something to eat and skull loads of water when finished

    Edit: still curious as to other peoples alcohol intake if anyone wants to chime in
    Last edited by greemah; 08-12-2010 at 02:29 PM.

  12. #11
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    How to lose fat or prevent fat gain when drinking

    Now that you understand the effect of alcohol on substrate metabolism, it's time for me to reveal how you can make alcohol work for fat loss. Alternatively, how you can drink on a regular basis without any fat gain. Without having to count calories and while drinking as much as you want.

    Apply this method exactly as I have laid it out. If you've paid attention, you'll understand the rationale behind it. I've tested this on myself and on numerous clients. Rest assured that I'm not testing out some large-scale bizarre experiment here.

    The rules are as follows:

    * For this day, restrict your intake of dietary fat to 0.3 g/kg body weight (or as close to this figure as possible).

    * Limit carbs to 1.5 g/kg body weight. Get all carbs from veggies and the tag-along carbs in some protein sources. You'll also want to limit carbohydrate-rich alcohol sources such as drinks made with fruit juices and beer. A 33 cl/12 fl oz of beer contains about 12 g carbs, while a regular Cosmopolitan is about 13 g.

    * Good choices of alcohol include dry wines which are very low carb, clocking in at about 0.5-1 g per glass (4 fl oz/115ml). Sweet wines are much higher at 4-6 g per glass. Cognac, gin, rum, scotch, tequila, vodka and whiskey are all basically zero carbs. Dry wines and spirits is what you should be drinking, ideally. Take them straight or mixed with diet soda. (No need to be super-neurotic about this stuff. Drinks should be enjoyed after all. Just be aware that there are better and worse choices out there).

    * Eat as much protein as you want. Yes, that's right. Ad libitum. Due to the limit on dietary fat, you need to get your protein from lean sources. Protein sources such as low fat cottage cheese, protein powder, chicken, turkey, tuna, pork and egg whites are good sources of protein this day.

    * For effective fat loss, this should be limited to one evening per week. Apply the protocol and you will lose fat on a weekly basis as long as your diet is on point for the rest of the week.

    Basically, the nutritional strategy I have outlined here is all about focusing on substrates that are least likely to cause net synthesis of fat during hypercaloric conditions. Alcohol and protein, your main macronutrients this day, are extremely poor precursors for de novo lipogenesis. Alcohol suppresses fat oxidation, but by depriving yourself of dietary fat during alcohol consumption, you won't be storing anything. Nor will protein cause any measurable de novo lipogenesis. High protein intake will also compensate for the weak effect of alcohol on satiety and make you less likely to blow your diet when you're drinking.

    By the way, a nice bonus after a night of drinking is that it effectively rids you of water retention. You may experience the "whoosh"-effect, which I've talked about in my two-part series about water retention. That in itself can be motivating for folks who've been experiencing a plateau in their weight loss.

    Apply this with good judgement and don't go out and do something stupid now. Remember, this a short-term strategy for those that want to be able to drink freely* without significantly impacting fat loss progress or causing unwanted fat gain. It's not something I encourage people to do on a daily basis, but it's one of the strategies that I apply for maintaining low body fat for myself and my clients.
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  13. #12
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    Everyone here is right, if your really worried then cut it out no big deal mate just dont drink it.

    If you do just have a few.

    Joey54 may have a point
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  14. #13
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    This comes up on the forums every so often and the response is usually pretty varied. But for health reasons everybody should drink a glass of red wine a day.

    I drink a fair bit. Would I be stronger if I didn't drink? I doubt it very much, but then I rarely get smashed.

    Alcohol has no special hold over me though. I'll have a beer most evenings for a month and then go ages without drinking. I'll go out with friends but I won't always get hammered. I'll enjoy a couple of beers if I make burgers and I won't feel at all guilty. I like a bottle of wine every so often. There is no pattern to it and it's not a major thing so I just never think about in relation to my fitness.

    Like Joey says your questions indicate a more serious drinking habit, and at that point its a different beast entirely. There is a world of difference between regular, light-to-moderate drinking and regular heavy drinking
    Last edited by J.C.; 08-12-2010 at 06:01 PM.

  15. #14
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    greemah, I don't drink because I decided long ago it wasn't in my best interest to continue. I was a binge drinker at the least and a middle stage alcoholic at the most, depending on what literature one reads. If you are thinking about changing your drinking patterns to make your workouts more effective, by all means that is a great reason to. Like JC states above, drinking in moderation is not a problem, and in some ways very healthy. When you are at the point where you feel the need to drink to have fun, or are binge drinking on a regular basis it can become problematic.

    I suggest you put a limit of 2-3 drinks per drinking episode. That is 1 drink equivalent(12 oz beer, 1
    oz shot(i think, going of memory), 8 oz glass of wine, etc). So not 3 long island iced teas . If you do that with no problems, your lifting should not be affected negatively at all, and probably your social life shouldn't either.
    Last edited by joey54; 08-13-2010 at 04:33 AM.


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  16. #15
    Soon to be lean... Joe Black's Avatar
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    To be fair, his drinking habits seem like the average 21 year olf in the UK lol.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Clough View Post
    To be fair, his drinking habits seem like the average 21 year olf in the UK lol.
    But maybe slightly better than the average 17 year old...

  18. #17
    Smeagol on Steroids Mercuryblade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kimsmarkin View Post
    Alcohol is created when grains, fruits and vegetables to happen. Fermentation is a process that uses yeast or bacteria to change sugars in food into alcohol. Eeverything cheese and medicines. Alcohol has different forms and can be used in cleaning, antiseptic and soothing properties.
    Well if this doesn't answer the OP's question I don't know what will.
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  19. #18
    Smeagol on Steroids Mercuryblade's Avatar
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  20. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mercuryblade View Post
    Saw that today. Looks like a flawed study, but one can take the message that probably the best option is to drink alcohol in moderation to enjoy its benefits. If one can't do that, they probably shouldn't drink it at all.


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  21. #20
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    This is from someone who has never been drunk or consumed any alcohol in my 29 years of life.

    I have seen many people's lives get destroyed from drinking. It only takes one mistake, and you lose you license, or hurt or kill someone and go to jail. When you go out with your friends, do you take a cab or have a designated driver? If not, it will catch you one day.

    When I was about 11, my mom got a DUI. Not to go into too many details, but she never fully recovered from the blow that dealt her life. It affected everything including her job and mental health.

    I know it sounds cliche, but the commercial that says 'Buzzed driving is drunk driving' is 100% true. Just drink a diet coke at the bar, none of your real friends will make fun of you for it. And if some drunk bastard wants to fight you, you'll kick his ass even if you're only half his size

  22. #21
    Quest for IFBB Pro Card The Spartan's Avatar
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    Alcohol is a poison to the human body. The "buzzing" feeling we get when consuming it, is our bodys natural alarm system telling us to STOP! Plus Alcohol is catabolic, its not a good thing to any of us on this forum, seens how we all want to be in the anabolic stages. When consuming alcohol, we negate what we are trying to do! And as many have pointed out, they are useless calories!

    But, as some have pointed out, a drink here and there, isnt really going to harm you. But that is 1 drink, maybe 2 here and there!!!!
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  23. #22
    Smeagol on Steroids Mercuryblade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Spartan View Post
    Alcohol is a poison to the human body. The "buzzing" feeling we get when consuming it, is our bodys natural alarm system telling us to STOP! Plus Alcohol is catabolic, its not a good thing to any of us on this forum, seens how we all want to be in the anabolic stages. When consuming alcohol, we negate what we are trying to do! And as many have pointed out, they are useless calories!

    But, as some have pointed out, a drink here and there, isnt really going to harm you. But that is 1 drink, maybe 2 here and there!!!!
    Alcohol really isn't a poison, poison is a relative term and related to toxicity.
    Unless you want to start including plenty of other substances that we ingest pretty regularly, labeling it a "poison" is misleading. When used properly, alcohol is metabolized into harmless amounts of other substances. The KEYWORD being "properly." Used in excess it can be catabolic, lead to drops in testosterone, and all sorts of other crap that is definitely not conducive to the lifestyle promoted on this site.

    But we tend to fall into the false assumption that there is always a linear relationship between what occurs in the body at high doses, with what occurs at low doses. Just because acute alcohol intoxication can interfere with protein synthesis or decrease testosterone levels, it doesn't mean a 'little bit' of alcohol interferes a 'little bit' with protein synthesis or decreases testosterone levels a 'little bit'.
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