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Is Eliminating Alcohol Necessary For Fat Loss?

by Repfuel Sports 20 Apr 2023 0 Comments

What Is Alcohol?

The picture that mostly comes to mind when discussing alcohol is a bottle of beer, whiskey, vodka, rum, or some fancy spirits. But that's not true, that alcohol is a separate nutrient which is found inside these alcoholic beverages which makes us feel drunk and has an intoxicating effect on our mind and body. More on it later!

What Is Alcohol Then?

Alcohol is a separate nutrient which is visibly colourless and also highly flammable and is produced through the process of fermentation, which takes place when a micro-organism, yeast breaks down the sugar from different sources like fruits, grains and vegetables. Another name by which alcohol can also be addressed is ethanol. All drinks that contain alcohol such as beer, wine, and spirits, all contain ethanol, which is also the prime ingredient present inside any alcoholic beverage and is also responsible for affecting the brain and nervous system. If not consumed in moderation it can also cause more serious effects, such as loss of memory, unconsciousness, and unclear speech and in longer run it  can also become the cause of few liver deseases.

Types Of Alcohol

Various kinds of alcohol are available around the globe, but there are usually five most common among them –

1) Ethanol

2) Methanol

3) Isopropyl

4) Butanol

5) Propanol

These five are widely known, but only ethanol has been found safe for human consumption. However, just because ethanol is considered safe for human consumption among these five kinds doesn't change the fact that consuming it is still harmful for both our mind and body. Also, consuming alcohol without knowing it's ABV% is a risky move. Let’s Understand ABV a bit !

What's The Meaning of ABV %?

ABV (alcohol by volume) presents the consumer with the percentage of alcohol (ethanol) that is present inside any alcoholic beverage. For example, if ABV% of a 750 ml alcoholic beverage is 12%, it means it consists 12% of alcohol, which is 90 ml in this case, as per the basic calculation and since we are appreciating the “basic calculation” over here, let’s take a moment to appreciate what an amazing job Rishi Sunak, UK’s Prime minister, is doing with his ANTI-MATH campaign.

Moving back to our topic ! ABV% is usually printed on alcoholic beverages so that consumers can be informed about the strength of the drink that they are consuming. ABV% of different alcoholic beverages varies, such as whiskey, vodka, gin, etc, each drink has its own ABV%., and higher the ABV%, mean higher the alcoholic strength of the drink. Depending on this information an individual can make an informed decision regarding their consumption because alcoholic beverages with a higher ABV% are usually stronger, so they should be consumed in smaller amounts.

How Exactly Does Alcohol Hamper Your Fat Loss Journey?

Consuming alcoholic beverages alone is not the reason for gaining weight or fat. Just like other nutrients like protein, carbs and fats, alcohol is also a separate nutrient. We are well aware that per gram serving of protein provide us with 4 calories and so does per gram of

carbohydrates, while per gram serving of fat provide us with 9 calories. Ever wondered how many calories does an alcoholic beverage provide us with?

The correct answer is 7.2 calories per gram! That's even more than what we consume from protein and carbs.

The concept of gaining weight or fat depends majorly on the calorie surplus, so saying, that alcohol alone is responsible for gaining weight is factually incorrect.

However, consuming more alcohol also means that you are consuming more calories; lets discuss this ! Per gram of alcohol contains 7.2 calories, so if an individual consumes 60 ml of any alcoholic beverage, then they are consuming around 432 calories just by having that 60 ml drink. Furthermore, it's rarely seen that any boozer likes to have a neat 60 ml; they usually prefer to have something that they can mix it with, and nowadays, with cocktails being in trend, it's a whole other level of experience, but there is price you pay, and the price is a huge amount of calories that you can't keep track of. Also, it's not just the alcohol that will lead you to consume more calories, it’s also the snack or side dish you eat while enjoying your drink.

Having snacks while consuming alcohol is very common, but how our bodies react to this combination will clearly leave you with a shock. Although alcohol delivers about 7.2 calories per gram, our bodies still can't store it like other macronutrients, there is absolutely no storage of alcohol in the body. Alcohol is straightaway prioritized by our bodies for oxidation, our body simply do not store any alcohol and oxidizes 100% of it (means it decreases or stops the oxidation of other nutrients).

Relationship Between Muscle, Fat Loss And Alcohol?

The relationship of alcohol  with muscle and fat lossis very complex. And to understand this complex relationship there are few variables that needs to be taken in consideration, like amount and frequency of alcohol consumption of an individual, genetics that they are born with and their overall lifestyle habits.

As discussed above, our body processes alcohol differently than other macronutrients. When we consume alcohol, our body metabolizes it over the other macronutrients for energy production. That is because our body considers alcohol to be a toxin and thus prioritizes its processing before other macronutrients to prevent any harm to the organs.

Moreover, alcohol provides around 7.2 calories in a per gram serving. Therefore, consuming alcohol can hamper the fat loss journey of an individual because of the increased calorie intake thus putting them in a calorie surplus.

Process responsible for making new muscle tissues in our body which is also known as muscle protein synthesis is also negatively affected by alcohol consumption, heavy consumption of alcohol also messes up with the signalling pathway of muscle protein synthesis, which is responsible for the rate at which muscle protein synthesis will be taking place.

These negative effects on muscle protein synthesis leads to loss of muscle tissue over a period of time, which decreases the muscle mass and muscle strength. This is bad news for athletes who depend on their muscle strength for their athletic performance or for individuals who lead a very labour-intensive lifestyle.

Is Alcohol Really Necessary?

We have already discussed many ways by which alcohol can adversely affect our body and fat loss journey, but honestly speaking no black and white statements can be passed whenever we are discussing anything related to our body. All the negative effects that has been seen related to consumption of alcohol are due to the high rate of alcohol consumption by an individual. So if you want to fetch the benefits of both the sides, here are some points that can help in finding that sweet spot:

1) Limit your alcohol consumption: By limiting your alcohol consumption to a moderate level, which, according to studies, is two drink per day for men and one for women, but generally speaking, per day alcohol consumption depends upon many individual factors such as body weight, health status and medication of any specific individual. Limiting alcohol consumption will help minimize the adverse effects it has on our muscle strength, physical performance, and overall health.

2) Low-calorie consumption: As discussed above, alcohol is a nutrient that consists of 7.2 calories per gram and many alcoholic beverages that are available in market comes with high calorie density, which clearly puts an individual in calorie surplus and hampers their weight loss journey. So for people who are on their fat loss journey it becomes really important to keep their calories in check during their happy hours. That's why having light beer, wine spritzers, or liquor mixed with sugar-free mixers is usually recommended, as they help reduce the calorie intake while allowing you to enjoy your drink.

3) Optimize your workouts accordingly: When you know, you'll be consuming alcohol, planning your next day's workout accordingly becomes essential. You should avoid any high-intensity workout sessions because muscle recovery and physical performance are impaired after consuming alcohol. Instead, aim for a lighter workout session or rest day to let your body recover.

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