I think that a post about alcohol and it's effects on your training should be very interesting, so that is what I'm going to discuss today.
Spirit (ethanol) – does not contain proteins, fats and carbs, but still has an energetic value of 7 ccal per gramme. By its qualities it looks more like carbs, but it cannot be converted into glycogen and stored in muscles for future use. It is toxic for our bodies and typically it is digested with the speed of 100 mgr per kilo of body weight per hour. There are several curious changes happening while it is being digested which cannot be avoided, but which could be allieviated. You can find a lot of information about the harm of alcohol yourself, but we are more interested how it affects sports performance.
Alcohol slows down anabolic process. It happens because digestive tract cannot extract nutrients with the same speed and is impeded by alcohol. Blood becomes deficient of aminoacids much needed in muscles. It all hinders endurance, strength and speed.
The cause of this is how alcohol is digested. Through digestive tract alcohol gets into the bloodstream and then the liver where it is being broken down. An enzyme dehydrogenase breaks down spirit into acetaldehyde which is highly toxic. Other enzymes break down acetaldehyde into acetic acid and then into carbon dioxide, water and energy. Thus, taking in alcohol, you depress fat oxidation. The same effect occurs when you consume large amount of fast carbs like cakes, candies and biscuits. In the end, slowed down fat oxidation results in deposition of unprocessed fat in fat stores.
More of that, alcohol causes dehydration. Dehydrated muscles lose elasticity, transfer of nutrients and electrolytes into cells is slowed down too. Exercising under these circumstances leads to harm, injuries and loss of muscle mass. Alcohol stimulates replacing testosterone (male hormone) with estrogen (female hormone). That is why beer lovers tend to suffer from gynecomastia and obesity.
We could go on and on talking about the negative effects of alcohol but, anyway, it is worth asking those who are still drinking why have not you stopped drinking yet?
P.S. Occasionally you can see in the media that certain doctors and/or scientists recommend to take alcohol in small doses, advocating its benefits. Most of the times, if you read the source of their works, you will see that they recommend to reduce intake to small doses for those who are still drinking but they do not encourage you to start drinking if you are a non-drinker.