Does Drinking Alcohol Hurt Workout Recovery?

Find out how the negative effects of drinking alcohol after a workout can be avoided.

Ben Greenfield
1-minute read

Does Drinking Alcohol Hurt Workout Recovery?

Mark my words – based on the results of this recent study, headlines everywhere will soon be trumping the news that you need to stay far away from alcohol if you want to maximize your workout results.

While it is certainly true that the study above, and others before it, have shown that alcohol negatively affects your exercise efforts. Alcohol has shown to decrease the post-workout hormone levels that may help you to build muscle and burn fat (such as testosterone). It also leads to increased inflammation by elevating hormones such as cortisol and inflammatory markers such as creatine kinase.

But what’s most important to understand that a glass of wine won’t do that.

For alcohol intake to hurt workout recovery, you need to be drinking the equivalent of about 4-6 servings of alcohol right after you finish exercising. In that case, not only will the alcohol hurt recovery, but will also give you lots of empty calories and potential for fat gain.

So enjoy that evening glass of merlot with your dinner, no matter what the headlines may be blaring.

If you have questions about whether alcohol hurts recovery, then ask away at the Get-Fit Guy Facebook page.

Related Content:
How Much Alcohol is Healthy?
How Alcohol is Metabolized

Wine glass photo from Shutterstock

All content here is for informational purposes only. This content does not replace the professional judgment of your own health provider. Please consult a licensed health professional for all individual questions and issues.

About the Author

Ben Greenfield

Ben Greenfield received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from University of Idaho in sports science and exercise physiology; personal training and strength and conditioning certifications from the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA); a sports nutrition certification from the International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN), an advanced bicycle fitting certification from Serotta. He has over 11 years’ experience in coaching professional, collegiate, and recreational athletes from all sports, and as helped hundreds of clients achieve weight loss and fitness success.