First I will assume you mean one or two drinks per day. A drink is defined as 1 ½ oz. of 80 proof spirits, a 12 oz. regular beer, or a 5 oz. glass of wine.
We have all heard how red wine has many health benefits. It contains a powerful antioxidant called resveratrol which is thought to provide the protective effect against cancer. Research has also shown that a glass of red wine per day decreases the risk of prostate cancer in men. Men who drank 4-6 glasses of red wine each week reduced their risk of prostate cancer by 50 to 60%. So moderate amounts of alcohol can provide numerous health benefits.
It takes about 48-hours for the body to clear one ounce of alcohol. In addition, alcohol produces a slight dehydration effect on the body. These two factors should be considered whenever you plan on that Saturday night on the town. Binge drinking on the weekend could erase the hard work done in the gym that week. Plus, how many of you can say that you had a killer workout while being hungover?
Research shows that moderate drinking of alcohol decreases the rate of protein synthesis in muscle by 20%. It also blocks the action of the anabolic hormone IGF-1. This can make or break your results you see in the gym.
Now with all this said, remember alcohol is still alcohol. Alcohol is a calorie-dense nutrient that acts a lot like fat in promoting calorie storage. Say you consume 2-beers a day (Coors Light, my favorite). Each serving contains 110 calories. Drink two per day and you will consume 80,300 calories per year.
I believe as long as your nutritional approach is excellent, a few drinks once in a while won’t negatively impact on your overall results. Just make sure you understand the definition of a drink and that a few drinks is not 5, not 10, and not 19. You should also take in consideration the calories and make sure you are including them in your total daily and weekly numbers.
– Andy Frisella
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