Phelps Points To Alcohol Abstinence As Physique Booster

22-time Olympic medalist Michael Phelps stepped into the broadcast booth with announced Rowdy Gaines during the Arena Pro Swim Series last weekend in Orlando. Among the topics of discussion between the two swim celebrities was that of Phelps’ physique, which has been commented on by both swim fans and the Baltimore native’s in-pool rivals alike.

Especially after Phelps’ Curtain of Distraction appearance at the Arizona State University home basketball game, where the 30-year-old’s abs and chiseled lats were on full display, the mainstream took note of how ripped the greatest Olympian of all time has become.

In talking with Rowdy, Phelps commented that he’s “probably the most cut” he’s been in his life. Phelps not only attributes his hard-earned, envious figure to weight-training and what he’s doing in the pool, but he points out his alcohol abstinence has also played a major role.

“Not having a drink for over a year-and-a-half, it’s incredible. It’s not only my body — on a lot of different levels. It’s been amazing. I can really tell the difference with my body, sort of not carrying that weight on my back.”

Back in August right before the U.S. Nationals at which he clocked the world’s fastest times in 3 individual events, Phelps openly stated that he is not going to drink until after Rio – “if I ever drink again.”  Phelps said sincerely the decision to not drink was one he made for himself, expressing, “I’m being honest with myself. Going into 2008 and 2012, I didn’t do that. I didn’t say I was going to take a year off from drinking and not have a drink.”

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Swim man
4 years ago

I disagree with Phelps saying alcohol is the reason he is “most cut”. He is training harder than ever before which means more fat will be used and burned. He could drink and his body and performance will be the same as it is now. Its hard to maintain so many calories everyday while eating healthy.

SinkorSwim
Reply to  Swim man
4 years ago

I disagree with Swim Man-What you are describing is Metabolic Efficiency, the ability to burn fat as your main source of energy. If you drink alcohol the effect on metabolism and performance will be affected, potentially negatively; dependent on the amount of alcohol consumed and frequency. His ability to train harder and have lazer eye focus can be attributed to his abstinence of alcohol from both a mental and physical outcome. The body’s metabolism of sugar and carbohydrates when alcohol is present varies from the norm. Contrary to most food and beverages, alcohol has a lowering effect on blood sugars. Alcohol’s metabolism in the body blocks the liver’s release of blood sugar-regulating hormones.This can cause low blood sugar, thus the… Read more »

StrongOldMan
Reply to  SinkorSwim
4 years ago

You are so right. The drinking of excess alcohol causes you to eat ridiculously bad foods and it has a snowball effect. Empty calories from all the alcohol plus all the extra bad food you eat to calm your hungry stomach from all the hormonal craziness that goes on from too much alcohol. I guarantee that a lot of people who are overweight would lose it if they just gave up alcohol.

GoldenBear
Reply to  StrongOldMan
4 years ago

What fun would life be without alcohol?

Caitlin
Reply to  GoldenBear
4 years ago

If you can’t have fun without alcohol, you have a whole different set of issues.

Caitlin
Reply to  SinkorSwim
4 years ago

True. That is why as a diabetic, I can’t drink alcohol, because after the first blood sugar spike, blood glucose drops too low. This can happen in a normal person too and I wouldn’t call that healthy or performance enhancing. Whether diabetic or not, blood sugar regulation is important.

Dan
Reply to  Swim man
4 years ago

I think that one could easily say that abstaining from alcohol plays a factor in him being able to train harder. As a 31 year old former swimmer, who probably drank more than a collegiate athlete should have, being hungover definitely impacts training ability.

stoobie
Reply to  Swim man
4 years ago

Do not discount the negative impact of alcohol consumption on sleep quality…

StrongOldMan
Reply to  stoobie
4 years ago

100% true!

Swimmer A
Reply to  Swim man
4 years ago

Hahaha I remember telling myself that in college

CollegeSWMR
Reply to  Swim man
4 years ago

Swim Man- He’s not actually training harder. He’s training smarter and with purpose. If you read the recent Sports illustrated story about him you’d see that he actually trains about 2/3 the amount of yards he used to, and it’s much more relaxed and not as intense. True, someone can still look like him and drink alcohol, but they’re not going to break world records like him and compared to how much he used to drink, quitting cold turkey is bound to have an effect.

Jeff Burg
Reply to  Swim man
4 years ago

I disagree with you. Alcohol has calories and plenty of them. A gram of carbs and protein has 4 calories, fat has 9 and alcohol has 7. So as you can see its almost as if you are drinking fat, calorie wise. As for your performance being the same. How on earth do you figure that? If you drink you will feel horrible and perform horribly. After all the word hangover is just code for alcohol poisoning. The worse you feel in the morning the more severe the alcohol poisoning. How can you train hard hungover? Also I would tend to listen to a 22 time Olympic medal winner who has been training the majority of his life when he… Read more »

Caitlin
Reply to  Swim man
4 years ago

You probably should listen to the interview. He didn’t say that was the reason he was more cut. This article said that. He said his body felt better. You are wrong about his performance being the same if he was still drinking. The science does not support that. He said himself in another interview he was going to practices hungover. You can eat healthy foods and still consume a lot of calories. There are a lot of healthy foods that are calorically dense. It sounds like you are suggesting he can still drink. No, he can’t. Alcoholics cannot drink, ever (he joined AA).

CoachWarrior
4 years ago

The problem with alcohol consumption in college aged and over athletes is the snacking that goes with it. The late night pizza, chips, mini markets, and trips to Taco Bell are the biggest culprits. That and foo foo sugary drink mixers which are very high in calories.

DutchWomen
4 years ago

You clearly don’t know much about alcohol, HGH, and T levels in the body. You sound like a college boy who wants to justify his weekend tomfoolery.

About Retta Race

Retta Race

After 16 years at a Fortune 1000 financial company, long-time swimmer Retta Race decided to change lanes and pursue her sporting passion. She currently is Coach for the Northern KY Swordfish Masters, a team she started up in December 2013, while also offering private coaching. Retta is also an MBA …

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