Whey only counteracts growth-reducing effect of alcohol a little
If you drink alcohol [structural formula on the right] after a training session it gets in the way of the anabolic processes taking place. Drinking a protein shake after the training session reduces this damage, but doesn't get rid of it completely, write Australian sports scientists from RMIT University in PLoS One.
Alcohol, training & muscle
If you drink alcohol after doing weight training, your muscles take longer to recover. That's partly because alcohol deactivates testosterone.
Nevertheless, a lot of athletes drink alcohol after training. The researchers were curious to know to what extent post-workout whey supplementation could help to cancel out the anti-anabolic effect of alcohol.
The researchers got eight active men to do strength training leg exercises and then several cardio sessions on a cyclometer. The researchers put the cardio sessions together in such a way that the total workout model allowed for all imaginable types of training regimes.
An hour after finishing their training the men drank the equivalent of 12 units of alcohol. On one occasion the subjects were given 25 g maltodextrin after their workout, and 25 g maltodextrin four hours after the workout, when they had stopped drinking.
On another occasion the subjects were given two 25-g doses of whey instead of maltodextrin.
Alcohol inhibited protein synthesis, the researchers observed when they examined samples of the men's muscle fibre. Whey [ALC-PRO] reduced this effect, but was not capable of restoring muscle fibre synthesis to the level achieved by drinking a whey shake but not drinking alcohol after training [PRO].
Post-training alcohol consumption had virtually no effect on the amount of amino acids that reached the muscle cells. What it did do was to reduce the activity of anabolic signalling molecules like mTOR and p70S6K in the muscle cells.
"In conclusion, the current data provide the novel observation that alcohol impairs the response of muscle protein synthesis in exercise recovery in human skeletal muscle despite optimal nutrient provision", the researchers write. "The quantity of alcohol consumed in the current study was based on amounts reported during binge drinking by athletes."
"We propose our data is of paramount interest to athletes and coaches. Our findings provide an evidence-base for a message of moderation in alcohol intake to promote recovery after exercise with the potential to alter current sports culture and athlete practices."
PLoS One. 2014 Feb 12;9(2):e88384.
Alcohol after strength training boosts testosterone level 01.10.2013
Drinking alcohol after training inhibits muscle growth 18.03.2009