Booze & Recovery

Currently nursing a hangover, so I thought this throwback #DuggRants would be relevant. 

Since this video, we have seen a couple of systematic reviews published on the effects of booze, and resistance-trained individuals. 

So…. does drinking impart gains? If so, to what degree? 

Let’s look at the evidence as published by MASS stronger by science in their Volume 3, issue 9 report. 


Lower doses of alcohol (less than, or equal to 0.5g/kg) doesn’t seem to impair recovery from resistance exercise meaningfully. Still, studies suggest that higher doses (greater than, or equal to 1g/kg) may.

If you’re a male, the impaired recovery seems to be more pronounced – likely due to the hormonal dysregulation, which is less in females. 

Booze does seem to have unfavorable effects on MPS, sleep quality, and several anabolic favoring hormones. 

This is strictly looking at the implications of alcohol, though, as we need to consider energy balance and the increase in caloric load. 

So how do you track booze? 

Technically, alcohol is a separate macronutrient, containing 7kcal per gram. 

With that, we usually recognize that it acts most similar to a carbohydrate, so we can calculate it as such. 

• Beer @5%: ~150kCal, ~12g carbs, ~14g alcohol (per 12floz/350ml can/bottle)

• White wine @10%: ~200kCal, ~7g carbs, ~25g alcohol (250g glass, 1/3 bottle)

• Red wine @10%: ~210kCal, 9g carbs~25g alcohol

• Spirit shot @40%: 70/84kCal (25ml/1fl.oz)

Alcohol isn’t part of your three macro targets, but it is going to count towards the daily calorie balance, which needs to be maintained, so reduce your carb and fat intake accordingly. 

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