Alcohol Survival Guide – The Dirty TruthBy Anthony Heredia | May 1st, 2010 | Category: Fitness Couture, Nutrition | 1 Comment »
Alcohol does have its funny way of leading to memorable events, but as wonderful a party favor and relaxer it may be, your body tells a different story on the inside if you are not cautious. An occasional glass of red wine is known to be very beneficial to your health, but did you know that a handful of red grapes or dark berries will give the same positive health kick? It’s actually the antioxidants and flavonoids found in the grapes of the red wine that lead to its touted celebrity health status. I’m sure replacing the wine with a bowl of grapes will have a much different response at your next social event, so let us explore the ins and outs of alcohol in order to best serve your taste buds, social life, and body’s health.
As harsh as this may sound, alcohol is first and foremost a poison. The human body has no need for alcohol; so it gets its own category in terms of calories, digestion, and effects on our body. So how does alcohol work once we drink it? Protein, carbohydrates, and fat can all be stored in our bodies, but alcohol cannot; so it takes priority in being dealt with when consumed over everything else, due to its harsh nature. All of the other processes that should be taking place are interrupted when alcohol makes an entrance. An enzyme known as alcohol dehydrogenases begins the metabolism of alcohol in the stomach. This enzyme is actually found in lower amounts in women, a reason why women tend to feel the effects of alcohol sooner than men (along with size, as well). While most nutrients need to be broken down prior to absorption, alcohol is ready to go. Alcohol disperses rapidly through body water and blood, affecting the brain and tissues. While many think alcohol is a stimulant, it is actually a depressant and sedative (a numbing agent) within minutes. Women metabolize about 10% of alcohol ingested, while men metabolize about 30%. Our liver detoxifies the alcohol in our blood through a process called oxidation. This prevents the poisonous alcohol from destroying cells and organs. A healthy liver oxidizes roughly ¼ to ⅓ of an ounce per hour of alcohol. This is less than 1 ounce of hard liquor and is why a hard night of drinking can slow down your body/metabolism far into the week. Time is the only solution for eliminating alcohol from your system. Cold showers and coffee at best simply stimulate your nervous system, leaving you more aware but just as intoxicated.
Does Alcohol Affect Weight Loss or Muscle Gain?
Alcohol affects whether fat in your body will be used for energy or not. A study conducted by the American journal of clinical research found that the consumption of only 24 grams (approximately 1 oz) of alcohol reduces your body’s ability to oxidize (burn) fat by nearly 73%. Alcohol interferes with vitamin and mineral absorption while excreting needed calcium and magnesium in urine. Longer and heavier use leads to permanent crippling of nutrient absorption, premature aging, organ failure, muscle loss, obesity, crippled immune system. It reduces testosterone levels and increases estrogen levels for men, and so much more. Your liver is so distracted with alcohol that your body doesn’t receive proper nutrients. Your body can be forced to break down healthy fat-burning muscle to compensate, slow down growth of new muscle, and add on some excess body fat as the cherry on top. Just doesn’t seem fair, but it’s all true, Agenda readers.
Now that you have been properly frightened, let’s show you how to enjoy a drink or two. Occasional social drinks will not bring your life and health to an end. The scary scenarios stem from constant drinking and abuse. Enjoy a glass of wine or other drink with dinner. Find yourself a drink at a social occasion and nurse it for the night or switch to non-alcoholic on your second drink. Enjoy the company and the memories, not the calories and side effects. Lastly, make sure to note that no alcohol is calorie-free in case you have your figure in mind. Alcohol actually carries more calories than carbs, while stimulating fake hunger. If eliminating alcohol is not an option, then limit quantity and frequency; and count calories if a trim physique is important. Choose drinks with less alcohol and limited sugar by using guilt-free flavored seltzers. Drink responsibly and keep your health in mind. The good feelings from the drinks will last a few hours, while the consequences will chase you for days if not weeks. Enjoy, but don’t abuse; and take a look at what you’re enjoying. Included are some calorie clues for planning ahead and a great website with every drink you can think of. Enjoy, Agenda readers.
You can look up other drinks at http://www.fitday.com/webfit/calories/calories_93.html.