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3 Ways to Get Drunk and Get Shredded

We all know that alcohol consumption is not healthy, nor will it help us to achieve our fitness goals. Alcohol contains an abundance of empty calories that can negate our weight loss and fat loss goals. At 7 calories/g plus the addition of the sugary sweet content of mixers that are typically combined with liquor, a few drinks can easily increase your calories by the hundreds. Furthermore, ethanol has toxic metabolites that can damage the liver, and inhibit essential nutrient absorption like amino acids and B vitamins, while also impeding protein synthesis.

Now that we got that disclaimer out of the way- We all also know that Alcohol makes any social situation a hell of a lot better. In fact alcohol can make or break a party. All the ridiculous and hilarious things that you’ve ever said or done would probably not have been possible without alcohol.

The good news is that if you play your cards right, you can effectively manage to lose fat, build muscle and reduce the impact on your overall fitness; without giving up the booze.

1. Treat Alcohol as Fat

First off the caloric values of alcohol and fat most closely resemble each other at 7 kcal/g and 9kcal/g respectively. By limiting your fat intake throughout the day you will theoretically be in a caloric deficit that can match the calories consumed by alcohol so that you attain something close to an average net energy balance.

Additionally, when alcohol is consumed it is absorbed by your stomach and intestines. It then passes through your liver on its way to the blood. When it’s in your circulation, it continues to pass through your liver and during every passing your liver breaks down some of the alcohol into acetate.

Acetate is what makes alcohol toxic. When acetate enters your blood, it inhibits fat oxidation throughout the body. As a result, most of the fatty acids in your blood are stored. This is why alcohol has such a high potential to make you fat.

Fortunately, acetate is very hard to convert into fat itself and because your liver is focusing its efforts on metabolizing acetate it fails to contribute to the creation of new fat (known in science as de novo lipogenesis). As a result, your liver stores less than 5% of alcohol as fat [1]. Plus, alcohol itself has no fats and very few carbs (alcohol is a separate macronutrient). This means we can avoid the fat storing effect of alcohol by minimizing the amount of fatty acids in circulation


2. Drink on an empty stomach

The normal, healthy liver can process about 1/2 ounce of pure alcohol (that’s 6 to 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1 ounce of spirits) in an hour. The rest flows on to the blood and organs. If you’re looking to achieve optimal drunkenness while limiting your caloric intake, then your will want the alcohol to reach the blood as rapidly as possible so that the liver can have minimal interference. This means you should choose high ABV liquor and drink it immediately to directly increase your blood alcohol concentration.

Food ingested prior to drinking will inhibit alcohol absorption in the small intestine, so it has the same effect as just sipping on your drinks. A full stomach slows the rate at which alcohol is absorbed into the blood. This again slows down the accumulation of alcohol in your blood and makes you need more drinks to get drunk.

Throughout the night you shouldn’t need much more (if any) alcohol, and you can sip on water to rehydrate and not be socially awkward.

It should be noted that for someone who does not know their own tolerance, this could be a recipe for disaster so be cautious.

3. Pick your poison correctly

Alcohol has 7 calories per gram which can quickly turn into hundreds of calories over a night of drinking. Try and choose low calorie high ABV alcohols such as vodka and gin. Here are some tips for your alcohol selection if you want more than just a shot.

Cut the Craft

Although craft beers may be delicious, they are also jam packed with calories. Calories in craft beers primarily comes from the carbohydrates in the grains that the brewer must add to give the beer its flavor. Unfortunately, these carbohydrates combined with the higher ABV of most craft beers will provide approximately 500+ calories with every beer. What takes 10 minutes to drink may be destroying hours of work that you’ve put in at the gym. Try some of these lower calorie, yet still delicious beer options

  • Michelob Ultra-95 calories

  • Guinness Draught: 125 calories

  • Session Lager- 130 calories

  • Saison Diego- 135 calories

Go Light on the Mixer

So you like mix drinks and specialty cocktails? Well the more ingredients and the fruitier the beverage the higher the calories will climb. Try using infused alcohols and choosing low-calorie/ diet mixers to give yourself the taste you are looking for, without the calorie punch.

  • Vanilla Dream- vanilla vodka, diet ginger ale, stevia, orange slices-100 calories

  • Diet Mojito: Vodka, muddled mint, lime juice, club soda, stevia-110 calories

  • Faux Cosmopolitan: Raspberry infused vodka, club soda, diet cranberry and lime- 115 calories

  • Low-Cal Margarita: Limes, salt, Mexican limóns, tequila, Cointreau, Stevia, Ice-150 calories

Drink Up

You don’t have to be a social loner to get into great shape. Many of my clients regularly drink alcohol and still make great progress. Keep in mind that drinking isn’t healthy and it can compromise your health the development of your physique, but it makes for great a great time (if you remember). Fitness is a lifestyle that is more than just building a physique and dieting, it is also about having a balanced lifestyle and maintaining a healthy psyche while enjoying what you do.

If you need assistance in creating a balanced fitness and nutrition lifestyle contact me for a free consult


  1. Cederbaum AI, Lieber CS, Rubin E. Effects of chronic ethanol treatment of mitochondrial functions damage to coupling site I. Arch Biochem Biophys. 1974;165:560–9.

  2. Crouse JR, Gerson CD, DeCarli LM, Lieber CS. Role of acetate in the reduction of plasma free fatty acids produced by ethanol in man. J Lipid Res. 1968;9:509–12.

  3. Yeomans MR. Alcohol, appetite and energy balance: is alcohol intake a risk factor for obesity? Physiol Behav. 2010;100(1):82–9.

  4. De novo lipogenesis, lipid kinetics, and whole-body lipid balances in humans after acute alcohol consumption. Siler SQ, Neese RA, Hellerstein MK. Am J Clin Nutr. 1999 Nov;70(5):928-36.

  5. De novo lipogenesis in humans: metabolic and regulatory aspects. Hellerstein MK. Eur J Clin Nutr. 1999 Apr;53 Suppl 1:S53-65.

  6. Parr EB, Camera DM, Areta JL, Burke LM, Phillips SM, et al. (2014) Alcohol Ingestion Impairs Maximal Post-Exercise Rates of Myofibrillar Protein Synthesis following a Single Bout of Concurrent Training. PLoS ONE 9(2): e88384.

  7. Garcia?Ruiz, C., & Fernandez?Checa, J. C. (2013). To binge or not to binge: Binge drinking disrupts glucose homeostasis by impairing hypothalamic but not liver insulin signaling. Hepatology, 57(6), 2535-253

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