Try to not drink alcohol every day, and if you do, limit it to the recommended amount: 1 glass for women and 1 – 2 glasses for men.
Good Effects Of Alcohol
Current evidence suggests that moderate alcohol consumption is associated with a lower risk of heart disease in some people. It was found that one drink per day for WOMEN and one to two drinks a day for MEN can increase the level of high-density lipoproteins (HDL's) in the blood. (1) HDL's are known as the "good cholesterol" and are responsible for keeping your arteries clear.
One drink is defined as:
- 12 ounces of regular beer
- 5 ounces of wine
- 1.5 ounces of 80-proof liquor
- 1.0 ounce of 100-proof liquor
It is not advisable that one consume alcohol for the reason of reduced risk of heart disease because of all the negative effects associated with alcohol consumption. So far, this is the only possible benefit of alcohol on your health, while there are innumerable known risks.
Bad Effects Of Alcohol
High in Calories
Since alcohol is quite caloric dense at 7 calories per gram anyone interested in weight management must count these 7 calories per gram in their total intake. These calories can quickly add up!
Alcohol has very little nutritional value. The high calories in alcohol are not converted into energy that can be used by your muscles. Rather, the body converts the alcohol into fat. Alcohol actually interferes and slows the body's ability to turn food into energy. Alcohol is broken down in the liver. When you are breaking down alcohol, all other functions of the liver are secondary, one function involves glucose production. We need glucose for energy. If your liver is not producing enough glucose, your body will become tired as it works to expel the alcohol, making it even more of a struggle to keep up the pace.
So, basically, if you eat a nice juicy steak and have a glass of wine with it, your body will focus on burning the alcohol instead of burning the calories from your food.
Poor muscle growth
Alcohol increases lactic acid production, hindering muscle recovery. Alcohol consumption prevents your body from absorbing important nutrients like thiamin, vitamin B12, folic acid, and zinc. These nutrients help in the formation of new cells, boost your immune system, and aid in the metabolism of proteins and fats.
Alcohol can disrupt sleep patterns. Growth hormones which we need for muscle growth are released during deep sleep; therefore, disrupted sleep from alcohol can lead to slow muscle gain.
Alcohol is not an effective beverage for replacing fluid. It actually causes fluid loss because alcohol acts as a diuretic. Your body's water will go to the kidneys to metabolize the alcohol when it should be used to help process other substances!
Related to Illnesses
Last but definitely not least.... As you know, alcohol is linked to many illnesses: liver disease, alcoholism, high blood pressure, obesity, stroke, breast cancer, brain damage, infertility, suicide and accidents.
Practical Suggestions To Manage Intake
Enjoying a drink is often a part of socializing that does not have to be totally avoided. The following is a list of practical suggestions that will assist in managing your alcohol intake:
- Plan in advance — Think about where you are going, who you will be with and keep in mind your limit of drink or bring/purchase a fun replacement drink. Keep your drink festive, so that you won’t feel like you’re missing out (i.e. sparkling water with a lime OR kefir! Try Snake River Tea’s Kefir... really good!).
- Eat before or while you are drinking — Eating healthy carbohydrate and protein-rich foods following exercise helps replenish muscle fuel stores. Eating also slows down your drinking pace and fills you up.
- Water is your main drink — If you are thirsty, drink your water first!
- Drink slowly — Sip your drink, do not down it in gulps. Put your glass down between sips.
- Keep yourself busy — If you are occupied you tend to drink less. Have a dance or play pool, do not just sit and drink.
12 Weeks Total Recharge
Our 12 Weeks Total Recharge blog series is dedicated to help bring your body to a place of rejuvenation, a strong and lively place. Each week we will focus on a specific topic and provide key information to help achieve the best YOU. You can use the links below to view the previous and next post in the series or you can view all posts here.
Body Basics offers personal training, group fitness classes (including mobility) and nutrition counseling at our facility in beautiful downtown Boise. Contact us to discuss how we can help achieve your goals for a better you.