Is alcohol and partying bad for bodybuilding?
Just a few pointers here about alcohol and partying. Like in most other things it's about balance, and not forgetting your basic committment to bodybuildiung and being healthy. The most important thing you need to always do is to eat right. This sets the foundation for muscle gains as well as preservation of those important gains. The second most important thing is sleep. Sleep is when your muscles grow the most and repair from when you have been tearing them at the gym.
If you are planning to go out with your friends, have fun. But get a really solid meal in that is composed of adequate amounts of protein, high quality carbs and fat. There are few reasons this is important. One, if you are going to be out late you need to have the calories and nitrogen reserves in order to not go into a catablic state when you are dancing and socializing. Secondly, if you eat the foods that are best for your body before you go out it is less likely you will be tempted to fill up on crap foods like chips and greasy foods that will screw up all your hard work. If you are in a lean-out or shredding phase this is critical as you do not want to be gorging yourself on lots of carbs, let alone the bad ones that will mess you up for weeks.
Wine is the best type of alcoholic drink to enjoy. It is relatively low in carbs when compared to most mixed drinks as well as beer and also has a lot of anti-oxidants, such as resveratrol, that actually are good for you. By avoiding mixed drinks and beer and sticking to wine you be able to recover better the next day if you happen to indulge. I tend to drink very rarely and never exceed more than 2-3 drinks when I do.
As long as you do not violate your basic discipline of healthy foods, which I have discussed in other articles, you can go out and party. Get back at a reasonable hour and get the sleep you need to recover and hit the gym again. If you need to sleep in some to get your needed hours of rest, do it! This is very important to your growth. Also, drink plenty of water when you are out. For every drink of alcohol consume at least an equal amount of water afterward. This will reduce chances of hangover the next day. Another last tip is to take an extra 2 grams of vitamin C and B-complex before you go to bed with more water. These will almost ensure you will not be hung over the next day and they will help you to be clearheaded when you get up to go work out the next day.
Follow these small steps I have given you here and you can have fun partying and enjoying alcohol. In fact people may be amazed at how you can actually do both: be a bodybuilder and also have an active social life like everyone else!