Given that many of us decide to take up body building after a long and challenging night at the bar – or at home with a few beers – it is bad news for many people that body building and alcohol do not mix. This is not to say that you cannot drink a beer every so often if you decide to take up body building, but you will be restricted in either one capacity or the other. There is conflict between the effects of alcohol and the intentions of a good body building regime, and something has to give – so, do you value your nights out more than your coveted muscle?

Part of the reason for alcohol being such a bar to body building is the effect it has on muscles. It does not reduce the muscles as such, but it does present a barrier to the muscles getting the necessary support from the body in order to recover from small tears and pulls. The blood needs to take oxygen and other natural resources to the muscles in order to fix any injury and, if the bloodstream contains alcohol, it cannot do this in the same volumes – meaning that you will take longer to recover and your training is less effective.

Those little tears can occur without you even noticing them, and are repaired fairly quickly, but perhaps the best way of putting it is that you shouldn’t go out for beers right after a body building session. If you have a block of three days off in a row, day 2 is the best time to go for a drink or two.