Booze and Building a Better Body Alcohol conflicts with any weight training/loss goals. First, alcohol is full of nutritionally void carbs. These vapid carbs also have a bonus three calories per gram (or 75% more calories than your average carb). Because carbs cause the release of insulin, this results in most alcohol calories being stored as fat—unless they are burned shortly after consumption (i.e. running from the police, vomiting, and/or bar brawls). Regular consumption of alcohol can lead to prolonged periods of slight to severe dehydration. Other than the obvious reasons that dehydration is bad, being dehydrated handicaps your muscles. A muscle without the proper amount of water in it suffers from reduced strength. Also, it will tire faster. Muscles are basically comprised of two substances; water and protein—with water making up approximately 70% of the muscle. Drinking booze negatively affects protein synthesis, which is when independent amino acids are joined together to form protein. Without enough protein, you cannot make muscle gains. Basically, a night of drinking negates a day at the gym. Alcohol also lowers testosterone and increases estrogen. The amount of testosterone an individual has in their body correlates with their potential for making muscle gains. A lowered testosterone level can be disruptive to an adult male’s life. An adequate supply of testosterone is required to produce an ample supply of sperm. It is generally considered the ‘sex hormone’ because (chemically) it is responsible for a portion of an individual’s sex drive and energy level. Finally, no man wants too much estrogen in his system. It leads to an excess of fat storage and…man boobs. For example, elderly men tend to develop pseudo breasts later in life due (partly) to the fact that their testosterone levels have plummeted and their estrogen levels become more dominant. Also, it should be noted that steroid use can eventually result in breast development in men—in other words, shortcuts have their price.