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Should You Consume Alcohol While on Creatine?

Consuming alcohol while on creatine supplements is not a good proposition. Alcohol tends to reduce the muscle-building effect of creatine. This Buzzle article elaborates more on the possible disadvantages of drinking alcohol while on creatine.
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Creatine and alcohol leads to reduced muscle gain
Did You Know?
People with a history of kidney problems should avoid taking creatine.

What Exactly is Creatine?
Creatine is a commonly prescribed sports supplement to gain muscle mass. This supplement increases one's stamina, allowing performance of high intensity workouts for a longer duration of time. It delivers that extra energy needed to boost exercising capability, which works well to enhance muscle growth. Athletes participating in explosive events such as sprints and jumps often take creatine to boost performance. The supplement delays the onset of muscular fatigue, allowing an individual to work out harder, which helps build muscle faster.

When taking creatine, certain dos and don'ts need to be followed. For instance, it is often said that while on creatine, one should be cautious about drinking alcohol. In fact, popular belief is that, alcohol consumption is a complete no-no when put on this supplement. Is the combination of alcohol and creatine dangerous to health? Is moderate alcohol intake permissible? Let's have a look.

Creatine and Alcohol
Is it safe to consume alcohol when on creatine? Well, there are no two ways about this; alcohol consumption should be avoided when taking creatine supplements. As we know, post-workout, there is increase in the synthesis of muscle protein, which promotes muscle growth. With creatine supplementation, you tend to work out longer, which causes a greater increase in muscle protein synthesis. This leads to higher gain in muscle mass. Also, the muscles tend to hold more water when on creatine dosage. This increase in muscle volume also increases the production of proteins within the muscle cells.

However, alcohol consumption has a negative impact on protein synthesis. It is observed that alcohol intake lowers the rate of protein synthesis, which is crucial to repairing and building muscles. As such, the increased rate of protein synthesis following exercise and intake of creatine supplementation slows down considerably due to the consumption of alcohol. Thus, the effect of alcohol interferes with the muscle-building process, despite taking the required supplement. Drinking is like nullifying the muscle-building effect of creatine, and prevents gaining muscle.

If you booze anytime post-exercise, your muscles face a hard time recovering from the strenuous workout. Due to this, the gain in muscle mass is far below what it should be. Although taking alcohol and creatine is not detrimental to health, the combination does not serve the purpose of gaining muscle mass. In simple words, you are unable to reap the muscle-building benefits of creatine when it is coupled with alcohol consumption. No wonder those who are into professional bodybuilding completely ax alcohol from their diet, when taking creatine.

It is not that alcohol consumption does not go well with creatine altogether. Although moderate intake of red wine, once in a while, is unlikely to counter the effects of creatine, in order to get the most from your supplement, completely avoiding alcohol is the best bet.

The Verdict
On the whole, following a rigorous exercise routine and complementing it with a creatine supplement is unlikely to show results if you consume alcohol. So, if you are looking forward to rebuilding your muscles with creatine supplements, then make sure to discard alcohol completely from your diet.

Disclaimer: This Buzzle article is for informative purposes only, and should not be replaced for the advice of a medical professional.
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Published: August 14, 2014
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