Poor decisions can ruin your chances of achieving growth. If you’re reading this, you like doing two things: building muscle and having an alcoholic beverage or two. It’s important to understand the conflicting effects of alcohol and creatine, though, because this will have consequences when it comes to your muscle growth, not to mention your overall gains. Many people supplement with creatine to achieve increased size and strength. At the same time, many people would like to enjoy an ice cold beverage or two once in a while for relaxation, perhaps to watch the big game on TV or just unwind after a long day. But this begs the question: how well do alcohol and building muscles mix?
Creatine is a common supplement that’s been known to increase size and strength. It usually is found in a powder form, but there are also some pill forms of creatine. There are many different kinds out there, but creatine monohydrate is the most popular because it can be absorbed faster. Alcohol is also popular and widely researched, as well as how it impacts our bodies. Sure, it’s OK to enjoy a beverage or two in moderation, but you have to know what alcohol can do to your gains, especially if you’re a bodybuilder.
Here’s a look at the conflicting impacts of creatine and alcohol. It will give you a good idea as to what you have to do to witness great gains. It’s really not worth having a bad workout due to the fact that you drank too much the night before, and you shouldn’t have to sacrifice recovery and limit your gains.
Creatine: Benefits & What it Is
Creatine, an amino acid found in your muscles and brain, is also a supplement that has been widely researched over the years. It basically takes your body’s ATP energy source through a long process, restoring what has been depleted. When you work out, your body uses ATP as energy, leaving a useless byproduct behind. Creatine takes that ADP and restores it back into a useful ATP for energy to fuel your next workout.
Creatine promotes strength and size, boosts athletic performance, improves your metabolism, and boosts cognitive function. If you are an athlete who supplements creatine, it can elevate your training regimen and performance for better results.
How Alcohol Impacts Muscle Growth
Enjoying an alcoholic beverage drink is nice, but you should always do so in moderation. Anything more than a couple of drinks can result in a nightmare. In regards to building muscle, alcohol can place limiting effects on your body that you should be aware of. In terms of protein synthesis, for instance, alcohol can possess a blocking effect, resulting in a reduction in muscle mass.
Now let’s consider testosterone. Testosterone is vital for growth to occur and is a very important muscle-building hormone. Alcohol will lower your testosterone levels, prohibiting protein synthesis. It can also elevate estrogen and pose an opposite effect for growth.
This shows that alcohol cancels out what creatine is supposed to do, limiting your growth. But the question is: by how much? This will vary by individual.
Creatine and Alcohol: Conflicting Effects
Alcohol inhibits the benefits of what creatine is designed to do, which is to pull water into your muscles. However, alcohol takes that water away, resulting in cramping and pain. If creatine can’t pull in water, it can’t do its job. This dehydration limits growth and doesn’t make you feel too good.
From a baseline perspective, creatine boosts cognitive functioning, and alcohol will negate that functioning. In order to thrive, creatine needs water; again, alcohol takes that water away. Creatine needs to draw nutrients to provide you with benefits, but alcohol takes nutrients away as well. As you can see, it’s a common push and pull theme.
Now with that said, this doesn’t necessarily apply to one or two drinks. If you’re drinking in moderation, you should be fine. But if you’re a heavy drinker, the effects of alcohol will limit your strength over time, negating the benefits of creatine. If nothing else, you are wasting money on costly supplements that aren’t doing their jobs because you won’t let it happen. It’s wise to monitor what you’re adding to your body. In the end, is a little buzz more important than serious gains?
Best Creatine Supplements: Added Gains
Choosing the right creatine supplements is key. It may be overwhelming to walk through the aisles of the supermarket, health food store or online sites, simply because there are so many creatine supplements out there. Check out the best creatine supplements so you can make an educated decision.
Now that you know all about the conflicting effects of creatine and alcohol and how it affects muscle growth, you can make educated decisions on what to put into your body. It’s easy to imbibe too much while out on the town, and that’s fine, but just realize that this will affect your gains. Creatine can be a wonderful supplement and staple in your workout routine, but let it work its magic. Don’t drink so much that you counter the effects! In moderation, you will see your gains grow.