Alcohol

It's pretty common knowledge that if you're trying to lose weight you shouldn't be drinking alcohol... but do you know exactly what it's doing to your body? We'll break it down here:

  • Alcohol hits you with about 7 calories per gram, so each drink is roughly 100-150 calories, and that's not including any mixers - that's straight alcohol.
  • After the consumption of alcohol the production of human growth hormone (HGH) in the body is slowed by up to 70% (study conducted by Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine). HGH is responsible for regulating body composition, muscle growth, and the metabolism of sugar and fat. 
  • Alcohol can impair protein synthesis, which is the process that helps build new muscle.
  • For a few days after drinking alcohol your body is focusing more of it's attention on removing those toxins you've put into it, as a side-effect from that if you do exercise during this time your muscle soreness will be much more noticeable.
  • The human body prefers to burn alcohol as a fuel before anything else. So that means it will try to burn off the calories from the alcohol before it opts for your carbohydrate or fat storage. As a result your metabolism slows down, 2 drinks will slow it down by 73% (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition), which can lead to weight gain.
  • It can lead to overeating (drunk McDonalds trip anyone?)
  • When you are consuming alcohol you body is producing a substance which is toxic to the release of testosterone. Testosterone is needed in both women and men for muscle growth.

So the question to ask yourself throughout this challenge, and continuing afterwards, is the drink really worth it? Things like this are fine in moderation, but binge drinking is a habit that you should train yourself to avoid.