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Alcohol and Muscle Recovery

Alcohol and Muscle Recovery

2 minute read

Who doesn't enjoy a couple beers after work, or kicking back and enjoying a margarita or three on the weekend? While there's nothing wrong with enjoying some drinks on your time off, it's important to be aware of the impact it can have on your recovery if fitness is currently a priority in your life. Moderation is key and we're not saying you should completely refrain from alcohol (unless that works best for you). Over the next several paragraphs, I'll go over the scientific studies that show the effects of alcohol on muscle building and repair to bring awareness to the impact it can have and help you reach your goals!

Encourages Swelling

It is natural for muscles to swell after an intense workout in attempts to repair the muscle fibers that have been torn. However, alcohol encourages even more swelling by opening up the blood vessels and slows down muscle repair by inhibiting the function of hormones that aid the healing process.

Promotes Fluid Loss

Alcohol encourages dehydration, which is an important aspect of recovery. A study by the Journal of Applied Physiology found that when drinks containing just 4% alcohol were ingested after exercise, there was an increase in urine output and a delay in the recovery rate of blood volume- due to alcohol's diuretic properties.

Affects Sleep

In a study conducted on a club level hockey team, scientists found that sleep levels significantly decrease when the team ingested alcohol after a match. Most of your muscle recovery and rebuilding takes place overnight, so good quality sleep is a top priority. 

If you've been struggling with muscle recovery or delayed onset soreness, try cutting back on drinks and see if you feel any different. If you want to boost your progress, consider an EMS Unit. We recommend the wireless VPod. This EMS/TENS unit has 24 different functions and adjustable intensities to help you reach your fitness goals. To learn more, visit VPod.Life.

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Happy Healing!

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