ALCOHOL: DISCOVER HOW ALCOHOL AFFECTS YOUR BODY AND SOME TAKE HOME TIPS
For a long time, alcohol consumption has been frowned upon by the health and fitness industry. Do you want to know why? Maybe you have heard a few reasons or you may have just been told, its not healthy. Heres why, its lack of nutrition (empty calories) and ethanol content, the toxic metabolic by-product that can cause damage to your liver and inhibit essential nutrient absorption like amino acids and B vitamins, while also impeding upon muscle protein synthesis. Not to mention the seven calories per gram of alcohol we consume. But wait! Don't we all love our added sugars that we mix with our alcohol to give it some life? Those added sugars along with multiple drinks, is how the number on the scale and the inches on your waist start to accumulate.But because alcohol is a normal part of our social life, it is important to understand the effects it has on your body and how to make intelligent decisions to preserve your health and reach your health and fitness goals.
Determine the Calories in Alcohols
If you’re already lean and healthy in a natural way, taking alcohols like white wines may more likely won’t affect your weight gain. However, for people always watching their waistline, considering the calories in white wines is an absolute must. Like other wines out there, white wines has also 130 to 170 calories per glass. Though the body is digesting the alcohols differently compared to solid foods, and all calories it contains are not absorbed totally, you should also consider that moderation is necessary.
Effects of Excessive Alcohol Consumption on Your Body
Hormones—Reduces testosterone in your blood and increases conversion of testosterone to estrogen, causing increased fat deposits and fluid retention.
Brain—Cuts off the supply of oxygen to the brain, resulting in a “blackout” caused by a lack of oxygen supply to the brain that can kill tens of thousands of brain cells.
Muscles—Reduces blood flow to the muscles, which causes weakness and deterioration, and inhibits muscle protein synthesis (muscle repair).
Long-term alcohol use makes it harder for your body to produce new bone. Drinking puts you at increased risk of osteoporosis (thinning bones) and bone fractures. Muscles become prone to weakness, cramps, and even atrophy.
The Best Alcoholic Beverages
- Red Wine: About 130 calories and 5-6 grams of carbs with several health benefits
- Skinny Margarita (tequila, club soda, and lime juice): 150 calories and about 5 grams of carbs
- Whiskey/Brandy/Scotch/Cognac: Full of healthy antioxidants and only 64 calories per 2 ounce serving
- Vodka soda or Vodka on the rocks with lime: 66 calories + lime juice (>10 calories)
- Bacardi and Diet Soda: 66 calories
Pick Your Drinks Wisely
Alcohol is its own separate macronutrient that has 7 calories per gram, which can quickly turn into hundreds of calories over a night of drinking. Try and choose low-calorie, and high alcohol by volume (ABV) alcohols such as vodka and gin. Here is some information and some tips for your alcohol selection.
- 100 proof liquor contains 50% alcohol
- 80 proof liquor contains 40% alcohol
- 40 proof liquor contains 20% alcohol
- Traditional wine has approximately 8-14% alcohol
- Regular beer has 4-6% alcohol
The goal is to consume as few calories as possible while still providing you with the benefits of alcohol consumption.
When alcohol is consumed in moderation (no more than one drink per day for women and no more than two drinks per day for men), it will not poison your body or halt all of your fitness and health goals. Some studies have shown alcohol to have some positive effects:
- Increased HDL cholesterol (“good” cholesterol) within one to two weeks
- Increased glycemic control
- Reduced stress levels
- Reduced insulin resistance
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