Fat Burners and Alcohol: 5 Side Effects You Can Expect

Dr. Harshi Dhingra, MBBS, MD
Published by Dr. Harshi Dhingra, MBBS, MD | Medical Doctor
Last updated: June 21, 2024
FACT CHECKED by Dr. Kristy Dayanan, BS, MD
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Mixing fat burners with alcohol doesn’t pay off; it's a costly combo that offers no benefits.

As a physician, I don't discourage you from indulging in a bottle of beer from time to time, but it’s important to know where to draw the line.

Which alcoholic beverages can you consume when taking fat burners, and how much can you really drink without compromising your health and fitness goals?

Keep reading to uncover the truth. You'd be surprised.

Quick Summary

  • Combining fat burners with alcohol can lead to adverse effects, negating the benefits of both.
  • The effects of drinking while on fat burners are slowing down your metabolism, reduced fat-burning capacity, and hormonal changes.
  • According to PubMed Central (PMC) - National Institutes of Health (NHI), reducing alcohol consumption can significantly enhance weight loss, especially for those prone to impulsivity.
  • In my opinion, prioritizing health and fitness goals over the temporary pleasures of alcohol is a wiser choice for long-term well-being.

5 Effects of Alcohol on Workout Results

A man drinking a bottle of alcohol

Depending on the ingredients in a supplement you're taking, side effects can vary from mild to more serious.

If you overdo it, you can even expect complications that would require you to seek help from a healthcare professional, including high blood pressure and increased heart rate.

Just like energy drinks, many fat burners are packed with stimulants like caffeine.

If you mix too much of it with alcohol, you’re inviting trouble, such as headaches, nausea, stomach problems, heart-related complications, and other health problems.

tired woman laying on the couch

1. Slow Metabolism

Although it may feel like a stimulant, the effects of liquor are just the opposite. It can slow your body's absorption of nutrients, including protein and amino acids, disrupting the crucial part of the muscle-building process.

2. Poor Hydration

From my experience, staying hydrated is key during workouts. I've felt the difference in my performance when I'm well-hydrated compared to times when I've had alcohol, which really disrupts the blood flow and oxygen supply to my muscles.

3. Reduced Fat-Burning Capacity

According to experts in the fields of fitness and nutrition, regular alcohol intake can negatively affect your fat burning efforts.

‘’When you drink, your body is more focused on breaking down calories from the alcohol rather than burning fat, so it can take you longer to lose weight’’

- Benjamin Caleb Williams, RN

Research from PubMed Central (PMC) - National Institutes of Health (NHI) indicates that reducing alcohol consumption can amplify weight loss benefits, particularly for those with a higher tendency towards behavioral impulsivity [1].

4. Hormonal Changes

Alcohol can slash testosterone levels and ramp up your cortisol (aka stress hormone) levels [2].

Since testosterone plays a role in protein synthesis, regular drinking might reduce your chances of leaning out. It also directly impacts creatine production in your body.

5. Poor Coordination and Focus

You have probably experienced it many times after partying.

Being a depressant, alcohol slows you down, and interactions with stimulants and potent herbs in a fat-burning product can lead to a lack of focus, poor judgment, and mental confusion, making it especially detrimental for athletes.

How do Fat Burners Work?

A woman measuring her waist using a measuring tape

These supplements should help you lose extra pounds, but as you know, fat burners are not a magic solution.

To get them to work, you’ll have to be mindful of your eating habits and alcohol consumption.

A blend of ingredients that work as stimulants can speed up your metabolism and increase your core temperature (also known as thermogenesis) helping you get rid of body fat.

The bad news? No amount of a fat burner can compete with the consequences of regular drinking.

Even the most effective products are worth nothing when drowned with empty calories and sugars from a couple of beers.

Mixing Alcohol and Fat Burners

A person mixing alcohol and fat burner in a drink

Understanding the link between fat burners and alcohol can save you precious time and effort.

Once these two are combined, it’s a match made in hell.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved certain fat burners as dietary supplements, indicating their general safety when used as directed.

While the FDA approves certain fat burners as dietary supplements, it's crucial for consumers to follow recommended dosages and be aware of potential interactions with other medications or conditions [3].

Fat burners can help melt your body fats, alcohol slows your body down. In the end, you find yourself exhausted with most of your efforts wasted.

Alcohol and Weight Loss

A man holding a glass of beer

Aside from common effects we experience when we get tipsy, like slurred speech and blurred vision, alcohol may work against you when trying to shed extra pounds.

We can all agree that beer tastes amazing and is hard to resist, but it's also full of ‘‘empty’’ calories that do more harm than good to your body.

The fact that alcohol is often full of sugar should be a red flag for anyone trying to get rid of those love handles with or without a fat burner.

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Is There a Way Around It?

Let’s be real - there’s no replacement for an ice-cold glass of beer or your favorite cocktail, but you can be smart about the way you drink.

All you can do is reduce the quantities of alcohol or substitute with less caloric drinks:

‘’If you must drink alcohol, wine is acceptable. If that does not suit your taste, straight liquor such as scotch, vodka, and gin would be appropriate, as long as the mixer is sugarless; this means no juice, tonic water; or sodas. Seltzer and sugar-free soda are appropriate."

- Robert C. Atkins, Diet Guru at bodybuilding.com

If you don’t want to end up being that guy with ‘‘beer belly’’, avoid getting drunk regularly and try saying no to those weekend party temptations.


References:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4768732/
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0306452214005387
  3. https://www.fda.gov/food/dietary-supplements
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About The Author

Dr. Harshi Dhingra, MBBS, MD is a published peer-reviewed author and renowned physician from India with over a decade of experience. With her MBBS from Bharati Vidyapeeth and an MD from Rajiv Gandhi University, she actively ensures the accuracy of online dietary supplement and medical information by reviewing and fact-checking health publications.
Learn more about our editorial policy
Dr. Kristy June Dayanan, BS, MD is an author with a BS degree from University of the Philippines and an MD from University of Perpetual Help System. Her ability to simplify medical science complexities and dietary supplement jargon for the average reader makes her a valued medical fact checker and reviewer.
Learn more about our editorial policy

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