Understanding Alcohol’s Effects on Your Body



Having a drink at the end of the day is an activity we all look forward to. There is nothing like relaxing on the porch with a glass of your favorite beer or wine to help us unwind from a stressful day. Most consumers are aware that drinking one glass of red wine contains useful antioxidants that are good for our hearts. Issues can arise when we decide to grab for that second glass of wine, beer, or alcohol that can be long reaching, even if we are not getting drunk every day. The effects on our heart, weight, and sleep patterns can have poor consequences if we are not disciplined enough to keep our drinking to a minimum.

The AHA (American Heart Association) recommends one to two drinks per day on average for men and one drink per day for women.  A 12 oz. beer, a 4 oz. glass of wine, and surprisingly only 1.5 oz. of 80 proof spirits or 1 oz. of 100 proof spirits is the recommended single serving amount. Daily over consumption may not lead to inebriation, but it can lead to the elevation of certain types of fats in the blood.  High blood pressure is a common side effect of drinking too much, and if you are trying to workout to combat your drinking habits, having high blood pressure could lead to a much more life-threatening situation. 

Many of my friends drink solely vodka and soda drinks when we go out because they want to “watch their weight”, but consuming that amount of alcohol in excess will still lead to weight gain problems. Apart from the unnecessary calories, alcohol essentially cuts in line within your digestive system so that it can be digested first. This leaves the food you ate waiting to be taken care of. Alcohol is also a diuretic causing you to lose many vitamins and nutrients while you drink. This causes hunger cravings both that night and the next day. Make sure you that if you are going to drink you at least eat healthily so your body can restore itself in the proper way.

Finally, alcohol can effect your sleep patterns in a way that leaves you always feeling tired. People believe that having a drink or two can help them fall asleep which is true since it is a depressant, however, the more alcohol in the system, the harder it is for your body to reach deep (R.E.M.) sleep. This is believed to be the most restorative level of sleep that we all need to repair ourselves each day, and without it we will begin to feel drowsier, have a tendency to sleepwalk, and an increased chance of memory loss.

Individually these side effects are long term related so they should not incite a panic, however, if they start to combine together habitually, that is how serious consequences can develop. If you have not begun drinking yet most doctors say to refrain from ever drinking. The lure of parties and being drunk is something most teenagers look forward to so the inevitability of it entering our lives is too strong. Moderation is the key with alcohol consumption, and with it we will be able to relax, enjoy ourselves, and have productive lives. 

Used under Creative Commons Licensing courtesy of insatiablemunch

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This article is made available for general, entertainment and educational purposes only. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of The Joint Corp (or its franchisees and affiliates). You should always seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.