How Does Alcohol Affects Your Body – Friday. It is easily the most anticipated day of the week. People don’t throw #TGIF around social media for nothing. You’ve been working hard all week, so once you leave the office, it’s time to get messy and go out for a drink with your friends.
You’re at the bar before the others arrive, you decide to kick things off by ordering your first drink. Before long, everyone is in place and the weekend is in full swing. You order a second one and before you know it, you’ll lose track of how many drinks you’ve had as the laughs intensify and the enjoyment peaks. It’s just one night for you, but overeating or drinking excessively on one occasion can pack on the pounds over time and also affect your overall health.
How Does Alcohol Affects Your Body
We know that drinking too much can cause more than just a terrible hangover – it can lead to life-changing events like accidents. In addition, constant alcohol consumption can affect your waistline, appearance and memory, as well as the health of your liver, brain, heart, pancreas and immune system.
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If you consider a minimum drinking standard, you will be better equipped to assess whether it puts you at “low risk” or “high risk” for certain health conditions that accompany drinking.
What exactly is a standard drink? According to research, it should only contain about 0.6 fl oz or 14 grams of pure alcohol. You might be shocked to find that your average drink is well above the norm:
Spirits (whiskey, gin, vodka, rum, tequila, etc.) – 1.5 fl oz 80-proof (40 percent alcohol)
According to a study by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism in the United States, four or fewer drinks recommended on one occasion and no more than 14 drinks per week put men in the category of “low-risk” drinkers. Women need three of the recommended drinks or less on one occasion, with no more than seven drinks per week, to remain “low risk”.
The Effects Of Alcohol On The Body
Now that you have a better understanding of what constitutes a “standard drink,” can you safely say you’re within your limit? Please note that these do not reflect the usual sizes as bars may use different portion sizes and some alcoholic beverages may be in larger bottles. Some individuals are also equipped to handle the minimum low risk requirement, while others may need to consume even less.
If you’re not careful, your calorie intake can quickly escalate with weekend binges or constant heavy drinking, which can lead to weight gain. Research shows that people who drink more often are also more likely to overeat by an average of 366 calories.*
This compromises their health and puts them at greater risk of obesity. The United States defines “binge drinking” as consuming four or more drinks for women and five or more for men within a few hours, at least once a month. In the UK it is defined as drinking a large amount of alcohol in a short time or drinking to get drunk.
There is no known official definition, but based on both definitions we have a very good understanding of what it entails, so we might want to put down whole bottles of wine during our Netflix marathons or that six-pack of beers during the Premier League. weekend matches.
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When we talk about consuming empty calories, we often only think of carbonated and sugary drinks, but alcohol also falls into this category because it has zero nutritional value and can quickly add – pounds. I’m sure we’ve all heard the term “beer belly” and it’s self-explanatory. Drinking also reduces the body’s ability to burn fat, mainly because the body is busy trying to get rid of the alcohol, and by the time it’s all gone, your fat burning machine shuts down.
So you can forget about burning all the food you eat while drinking because your body won’t even burn existing stored fat. Your entire metabolism is on pause. Although a glass of wine has been shown to have health benefits, the returns continue to diminish. So don’t overdo it.
Check out the calorie content of some of your favorite bar drinks along with serving sizes below. Note that a “standard drink” does not correspond to a serving size.
For fun, see how much exercise it takes to burn calories from your favorite drink.
Your Weekend Drinking Could Have Serious Health Implications
Your immune system, which is your body’s defense mechanism, is exposed or at risk of excessive drinking, leading to increased inflammation or flare-ups of autoimmune disorders. This can make you more susceptible to pneumonia, acute respiratory distress syndrome, alcoholic liver disease, and a reduced ability to recover from physical trauma.
Most occur in the liver with hard drinks because it becomes inflamed and unable to detoxify the body. Other conditions caused by excessive drinking include fatty liver, fibrosis and eventually cirrhosis.
Excessive drinking weakens your heart and contributes to an irregular heartbeat. There is also the possibility of high blood pressure and stroke.
Heavy drinking puts you at increased risk of certain types of cancer, including those of the mouth, esophagus, throat, liver, and breast.
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Excessive drinking can cause inflammation of the pancreas and can lead to pancreatitis, which is a swelling of the blood vessels in the gland that prevents digestion.
Another side effect of constant or excessive drinking is that it ages you. Your skin is dehydrated, making it look wrinkled and dry. Drinking also affects your sleep. A bit of alcohol can help you “come out”, but there will be a rebound effect: once it leaves the body, you will no longer enjoy a deep sleep, but rather a light sleep for waking up. Stress, dark circles under the eyes and puffiness ruin your appearance and can add years to your face.
Just one occasion to drink can affect the delicate balance of your neurotransmitters, causing them to transmit information more slowly than normal or making you feel extremely sleepy. Alcohol-related disruption of neurotransmitters can lead to mood swings and memory loss. Have you ever wondered why you can’t remember what happened when you went out drinking? It can also cause restlessness, depression, and other behavioral changes.
So, is this round of bullets worth it? Or the endless line of mixed drinks in red cups at that beach party? When health risks such as obesity, high blood pressure, liver damage, a weakened immune system are revealed, you may want to put the lid on it and reassess your entertainment expenses.
How Alcohol Affects Your Body?
Contributed by Meisha-Gay Mattis, founder of Bodhi, a holistic wellness company based in Kingston. She is a certified integrative nutrition health coach and personal fitness trainer. Emailmeisha@ourbodhi.com for more information or visit any of the following
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