Jim Stoppani answers: How does coffee and alcohol affect your general fitness and health? And should pro bodybuilders keep them in their diets?

Alcohol and coffee can be considered two of the biggest vices in the modern world. They are so embedded into culture that no one bats an eye to the affects of both when taken to extremes. For those that are health conscious and especially those who want to be elite bodybuilders – can these two products say in a healthy diet? We turned to exercise physiologist Jim Stoppani for a full explainer guide on the pros and cons of keeping coffee and alcohol in your diet.

For the average adult, coffee and alcohol consumption is a casual and regular occurrence. Of course, so long as it is in moderation. Chronic diseases such as alcoholism are a consistent problem in many countries – certainly in the United States. But beyond the extreme side of substance abuse, are there long term dangers from casual alcohol and coffee consumption? Jim Stoppani believes that these substances are not as taboo as some alarmists would have you believe.

Pros & Cons of Coffee

During our video interview, Vlad Yudin mentions how there are those who warn of coffee addiction and the negative effects this can have on a person. Yet many athletes and bodybuilders will use coffee as a form of natural pre-workout. A way to boost energy for that next training session. Should coffee be cut from a health conscious person’s diet? Is coffee and caffeine bad for your health?

“I say good,” Jim Stoppani comments during the conversation. Of course, he mentions, it will always depend on the individual person and their personal goal. Overall, there are proven health benefits to drinking coffee (and consuming caffeine in general). Coffee itself can be an antioxidant. And caffeine has been proven to help lessen cognitive decline throughout the day.

Studies also show that smaller doses more frequently throughout the day fairs better than big doses once or twice a day. So for those who pound down morning coffee – perhaps an alternate habit could be more optimal.

Jim Stoppani doesn’t like to demonize caffeine. It won’t kill you and it wont kill your gains. However, drinking coffee at too young an age can be more dangerous. Stoppani explains that consuming regular amounts of caffeine under the age of 18 has a direct effect on the development of the brain. It can change your brain connections.

Another reason you might not want to have coffee or caffeine in your diet is down to personal situations. If you have cardiovascular or heart health issues – avoiding caffeine is a better choice. And those who suffer chronic anxiety might find that caffeine only raises their anxiety throughout the day.

Pros & Cons of Alcohol

The obvious big danger about alcohol is abuse. It can be addictive and also cause serious damage to your liver and heart with long term abuse. Also binge drinking can lead to dangerous situations when your cognitive abilities start to blur.

However, beyond those very real and serious risks with long term abuse – Jim Stoppani sees no issue with alcohol in a fit person’s diet. It’s completely possible to remain health and fit while also enjoying the occasional drink.

Jim Stoppani explains that at the end of the day it’s all about your macros. If you are an elite bodybuilder looking to have 3% body fat and dominate on stage – then maybe it’s best to avoid alcohol for the majority of your career. But for the larger fitness community at large – it all depends on your personal goals. Alcohol calories certainly add up if you’re not careful.

Ultimately, Jim Stoppani wants to remind those watching that you only live once. “What’s the point of being fit?” Stoppani rhetorically asks. “So we can live longer and enjoy life!”

Wrap Up

At the end of the day, Jim Stoppani explains that neither coffee or alcohol are inherently unhealthy for you. Unlike, let’s say, smoking a cigarette, one drink will not damage your body. It’s all about moderation and considering your personal goals. Know your own health records. Know your own habits. Keep them under control.

Stoppani believes you can be not only health but very physically fit while also enjoying coffee and alcohol. You can watch Jim Stoppani explain in full detail by watching our latest GI Exclusive video segment above.

Derek Dufour
Derek Dufour has been managing all digital operations on the Generation Iron Network for over six years. He currently manages a team of editors, writers, and designers to provide up-to-date content across the GI Network.