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Influence of alcohol on physique, digestion, body and mind

Updated: Apr 4

We all know that drinking lowers our inhibitions and leads to poor food choices like late-night pizza and greasy breakfast. But does that mean that the only way to reach your fitness goals is to cut out alcohol altogether? Here are some indicators that can help us understand it in a better way.


Performance


According to one study, alcohol intake can reduce your aerobic performance by 11.4 percent, but even just one drink may have an effect. Added to that, when your liver is busy breaking down alcohol, it's less efficient at producing glucose to help fuel your workout and exercise during this period can cause hypoglycemia or low blood sugar.


Physique


Alcohol reduces muscle activity which can sometimes lead to weight gain. Research shows a level of 0.5g/kg of alcohol intake seems to have little impact on testosterone. However, anything higher than that, and levels rise.



Digestive System


The connection between alcohol consumption and digestion might not seem clear immediately. The side effects often only appear after the damage has happened. Regular alcohol intake in a large amount reduces digestive enzymes into your digestive tract and pancreas. These enzymes oxidize the alcohol, break it for extra energy and eliminate unwanted components from the body. Without these enzymes, the body cannot absorb the vitamins and minerals necessary for various functions.


Brain


Alcohol has a profound effect on the complex structures of the brain. It blocks chemical signals between brain cells, which leads to the common immediate symptoms of intoxication, including impulsive behaviour, slurred speech and poor memory. Moreover, heavy drinking interferes with chemicals in the brain that is vital for good mental health. So while we might feel relaxed after a drink, in the long run, alcohol has an impact on mental health and can make you feel depressed and anxious, and cause stress which may be harder to deal with.


So think before you drink, and consider periodical detox of the body. Then notice how your body and brain performs.

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