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Alcohol | Marijuana | Cigarettes | Lack of Sleep | Hunger

Ever wonder what negatively impacts your workouts ???

I for one wondered that same thing for quite some time, and after months and months of research and digging through long winded reports from doctorts, nutritionists and scientists, I think I have got all the "No No's " pretty clear defined. Below you will find the results of my search and I hope you find the results as beneificial as I did.......


Alcohol -

Although no published studies have specifically examined the effects of alcohol on the effectiveness of creatine, alcohol does have known effects on muscle metabolism and survival. These indirect consequences of alcohol might, in turn, influence how well we respond to creatine supplementation.

Fast Twitch Muscle Fibers: Anaerobic Not all muscles are the same. Muscle fibers can be loosely distinguished on whether they mediate fast or slow movements. Fast muscle fibers are also known as Anaerobic. Anaerobic refers to the ability of these muscle fibers to respond independently of oxygen. Thusly, anaerobic muscle fibers are fast, since they are not limited by oxygen availability. However, they also tire rapidly. Fast (Anaerobic) muscle fibers are called into play when we undertake explosive movements. Lifting heavy weights and sprinting are examples of exercises recruiting fast muscle fibers.

Slow Twitch Muscle Fibers: Aerobic Slow muscle fibers, on the other hand, are Aerobic. Aerobic simply means that slow muscle fibers require oxygen to generate force. As a consequence of their oxygen-dependency, these muscle fibers generate force more slowly. In other words, oxygen availability limits how rapidly slow muscle fibers respond. Therefore, slow muscle fibers provide lower forces, but last much longer. Activities calling into play slow muscle fibers require oxygen, i.e. breathing. Marathon runners rely heavily on slow muscle fibers. Obviously, you wouldn't want to run a marathon while holding your breath. To summarize, the reason we can only sprint briefly, while we can walk for hours, is that these activities call into action different types of muscle fibers. Sprinting calls into play fast (anaerobic) muscle fibers. Fast muscle fibers generate brief, explosive forces. On the other hand, slow (aerobic) muscle fibers are used for movements lasting more than a few seconds. The amount of force generated by slow muscle fiber is much less, but can only be maintained for as long as our breathing allows.

Creatine & Fast Muscle Fibers Just as not all muscles are the same, creatine doesn't influence all muscle types in the same manner. Creatine preferentially increases the work output of fast muscle fibers; the one's that don't require oxygen to generate force. This would be noticed as an increase in sprint performance, while our jogging performance would go mostly unchanged. We are actually feeding fast muscle fibers by supplementing with creatine!

Protein Synthesis & Muscle Growth It is natural that some muscle damage occurs during exercise. In fact, this exercise-induced muscle damage is essential for subsequent muscle growth. Simply speaking, we literally breakdown our muscles during exercise and rebuild them during recovery. Whether our muscle mass increases depends on which of these two processes is greater. For example, if muscle breakdown exceeds muscle regrowth, then we lose muscle mass. Protein synthesis, or the production of new muscle proteins, is an essential part of this rebuilding process following exercise.

Alcohol & Muscle Growth - Iit appears that short-term alcohol use inhibits muscular protein synthesis. In fact, this effect is particularly pronounced in fast muscle fibers, especially after prolonged alcohol use. The scenario would be detrimental for any athlete trying to gain muscle mass and strength through training. After all, isn't the goal of training to increase muscle protein synthesis? The problem is that creatine allows us to work harder, which is generally a good thing. However, this would also mean that muscle recovery is more critical while supplementing with creatine. Now, as alcohol consumption inhibits protein synthesis, a potentially fruitless situation may arise by mixing the two. That is, creatine and alcohol.

Finally, there is also some indication that creatine also stimulates protein synthesis. This effect may underlie part of creatine's benefit. If this is so, then alcohol consumption would offset this benefit of creatine as well.

Note: Keep in mind these important points: Alcohol inhibits protein synthesis in fast muscle fibers. Protein synthesis is essential for muscle growth and development. Protein synthesis is important for muscle recovery. Creatine increases the work output of fast muscle fibers. Thus, fast muscle recovery is more critical during supplementation. Creatine may increase protein synthesis as part of its benefit. Alcohol may be particularly damaging during creatine supplementation.

Alcohol & Anabolic Hormones - Anabolic means to promote growth. Alcohol adversely influences the anabolic properties of two of our principal growth promoting hormones, Insulin and Growth Hormone. Furthermore, most of the anabolic effects initiated by Growth Hormone are mediated by Insulin-like Growth Factor-1 (IGF-1). These hormones are essential for inducing muscle protein synthesis after exercise and are also thought to interact with creatine. Alcohol causes insulin-resistance as well as hinders the release of Growth Hormone from the brain. Chronic alcohol consumption also reduces our IGF-1 levels. These combined effects will slow muscle development and mitigate our response to creatine. Finally, Growth Hormone secretion is most important during puberty, when we are growing most rapidly. Anything that interferes with this normal surge in Growth Hormone could have serious developmental consequences. Therefore, adolescent athletes are strongly discouraged from consuming alcohol.

Although possibly having no direct effects on creatine energy production per se, alcohol creates a biochemical environment that could undermine with the benefits afforded by creatine. Alcohol decreases muscle protein synthesis, causes insulin-resistance and interferes with the release of Growth Hormone (and, hence, IGF-1) following exercise. All of which would mitigate creatine's effect.

An occasional glass of red wine has been shown to possess healthful benefits - nothing beats a good Merlot. However, if you're serious about making gains in strength and mass, then maybe you should abstain from alcohol, especially immediately before bed and after exercise. This precaution is especially important if you are below 20 years of age, when Growth Hormone release is most necessary for normal growth and development. Moderation is always the best policy.

Marijuana -

Studies consistently show that marijuana interferes with growth and reproductive hormones. This is of particular significance to developing adolescents who are going through a very vulnerable period of rapid and complex biochemical changes.

The chemicals in marijuana affect the parts of the brain which control and regulate the sex and growth hormones. In males, marijuana can decrease the testosterone level. Testosterone is a major growth hormone and is essential to the completion of the growth process in young males. This process, including the broadening of shoulders, enlargement of muscles in the chest, biceps, and buttocks, deepening of the voice, beard growth and genital development, is dependent on adequate hormone levels. For a long time parents and physicians have described the typical male "pot head" as having narrow shoulders, lack of muscle development (particularly in upper arms, chest, buttocks and upper leg), pale looking face and heavy-lidded eyes. Pediatricians and endocrinologists report increasing cases of pubertal arrest which seem to be marijuana- related. The occasional cases of enlarged breasts in male marijuana users seem to be triggered by the chemical impact on the hormone system.

Regular marijuana use is also associated with a decrease in sperm count and sperm motility, as well as significant increases in abnormal and immature sperm. In many of the sperm, the transmission of DNA is altered and chromosomes are rearranged. Recent animal studies have raised serious concerns that chromosomal aberrations and genetic mutations may be transmitted from the father to the next generation of male offspring. Marijuana is a contributing factor in the rising problem of infertility in males. Young males should know the effects and potential effects of marijuana use on sex and growth processes.


I dont think we really need to explain this one, cigarettes flat out suck and everybody knows it. Besides the 450 or so cancer causing materials contained within them, the chemicals in cigarette smoke are known to constrict blood cells thereby hindering their ability to transport oxygen to your muscles, without oxygen you muscles will not grow.


Lack of Sleep -

If you have ever wondered how teenagers can sleep all day? it's because their bodies are growing.The number one reason sleep is important is because Growth Hormone rises during deep sleep, which often begins about 30-45 minutes after falling asleep. The amount of sleep is also another individualistic temperament. Generally, 7to 12 hours of sleep are sufficient. If you are receiving less than 6 hours of sleep per night then you are basically wasting your workouts.

Hunger -

Fact: You need to eat to burn body fat. The first nutritional demand of your body is energy. Without adequate energy, your body will convert muscle protein into energy to feed your brain, nervous system and red blood cells.These particular tissues do not possess the metabolic machinery to burn fat. They only burn carbohydrate. When your intake of carbohydrate falls below these tissues demand, the body begins to convert tissue protein into carbohydrate to meet their need. The net result is a loss of muscle tissue.

Reference: Preedy VR, Patel VB, Reilly ME, Richardson PJ, Falkous G, Mantle D. (August 1999) Oxidants, antioxidants and alcohol: implications for skeletal and cardiac muscle. Frontiers in Bioscience Volume 1:4: pages e58-e66

The majority of the story was obtained from: