| Alcohol Could Be Killing Your Gains in a New Way

Author / Raven Winters

3-5 minutes read

Let’s talk about something that’s likely a big part of your weekend routine but could be wrecking your gains in a way you never imagined – alcohol. 

Sure, we all know the classic downsides of drinking: hangovers, dehydration, and the occasional regrettable text. But there’s a sneaky way alcohol might be sabotaging your progress in the gym, and it has to do with your gut microbiome and metabolism.

Now, don’t roll your eyes thinking this is another generic “alcohol is bad” rant. This is some real science, and it’s time to get educated.

The Gut Microbiome: Your Body’s Hidden Powerhouse

Your gut isn’t just there to process the pizza and protein shakes you throw at it. It’s a complex ecosystem teeming with bacteria that play a crucial role in your overall health and fitness. These gut bacteria help in digesting food, absorbing nutrients, and even influencing your immune system and mental health.

One of the ways your gut microbiome affects your fitness is through its role in metabolism. The gut bacteria are involved in breaking down food and can influence how efficiently your body uses nutrients. A healthy gut microbiome is like a well-tuned engine, making sure you get the most out of your diet and supplements.

The Glyphosate Connection: A Lesson from Herbicides

You might be wondering, what do herbicides have to do with alcohol and gym gains? Stay with us here. Glyphosate, the active ingredient in many herbicides, has been shown to disrupt the gut microbiome. A study published in February 2021 found that low-dose exposure to glyphosate-based herbicides significantly altered the urinary metabolites in rats, indicating disrupted gut microbiome and metabolic functions. Notably, these changes included increased levels of homocysteine, a known risk factor for cardiovascular diseases.

Why does this matter? Because just like glyphosate, alcohol can also disrupt your gut microbiome. When you drink, you’re not just getting that buzz; you’re also upsetting the balance of bacteria in your gut. This imbalance can lead to less efficient nutrient absorption and a messed-up metabolism.

Alcohol’s Impact on Your Metabolism and Gains

Drinking alcohol has a similar disruptive effect on your gut microbiome as glyphosate. It kills off beneficial bacteria and allows harmful ones to proliferate. This disruption can lead to a cascade of negative effects, including inflammation and impaired nutrient absorption. If your body isn’t absorbing nutrients properly, all that protein you’re chugging down isn’t going to be as effective.

Moreover, alcohol increases the permeability of your gut lining, a condition often referred to as “leaky gut.” This allows toxins and bacteria to pass into your bloodstream, causing inflammation and further hampering your recovery and muscle growth.

The Bottom Line: Rethink Your Drinking Habits

It’s not just about the calories in your cocktails or the fact that you’re skipping workouts because you’re too hungover. Alcohol is messing with your gut microbiome, and by extension, your metabolism. This means that your body isn’t operating at peak performance, which translates to less impressive gains, slower recovery times, and potentially increased risk of health issues down the line.

So, if you’re serious about your fitness goals, it might be time to rethink that post-workout beer or those weekend binges. Moderation is key, and ensuring your gut health is in check should be part of your fitness strategy. Keep your microbiome happy, and your gains will follow.

Remember, your body is a temple, not a tavern. Treat it with the respect it deserves, and it will reward you with the performance and aesthetics you’re working hard for. Cheers to smarter choices and bigger gains!

Nail Your Nutrition 

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Raven Winters

Just a dude trying to be a dude, hanging with some other dudes, talking about what dudes do.

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