Most people drink alcohol such as wines, sprits, ciders or beers to get a buzz and enjoy the sense of release that one gets from consuming it. This feeling of being high is what makes alcohol a popular beverage at most parties, celebrations and social events.
Alcohol contains no minerals, no vitamins and no nutrients. Consuming it will not provide you any nutritional benefit. Instead, you will be consuming a lot of extra calories. There are about 64 – 80 calories in an ounce of alcohol, depending on the type being consumed.
When you drink alcohol it is quickly and absorbed from the intestines without any digestion. Once absorbed from the intestines, alcohol goes into the blood stream where it travels all over the body and affects many areas such as the brain.
Alcohol is metabolized by the liver and eliminated from the body through the urine. Alcohol can damage brain cells, the liver, and the pancreas and will cause dehydration as well as many other undesirable effects. This explains why the long term abuse of alcohol is injurious to your health.
The body will identify and treat alcohol like a toxin (poison). This means when you consume alcohol the body immediately responds and starts working to get rid of it. In the process of eliminating the alcohol, the body actually burns the calories contained in alcohol first in preference to any food consumed. Since a caloric surplus is created, all the food you take during this period is converted to fat stores and this is how you gain weight.
Consuming alcohol will also lead to increased food cravings and a heightened appetite. Most people will crave for fatty foods. This is a double whammy. Not only is your body not burning calories from the food you eat, but it’s also craving for oily, greasy foods that will shuttle more fats into your body’s fat stores.
Gaining weight is just one of the many side effects of taking alcohol. A binge drinker will most likely experience the bad effects of alcohol more than the occasional social drinker. That being said, alcohol is a normal part of our modern lifestyle, especially at celebrations and social events.
So what can you do to mitigate these unwanted effects of alcohol?
The first and obvious answer will to completely stay away from any form of alcohol and stick to good old fashioned water. For some this is easy but for most the temptation of drinking a glass or two of an alcoholic beverage will be strong enough to overcome even the most disciplined Jedi Knight.
Below are some tips on what you should do when you are faced with a situation where you are going to be drinking some alcohol. These tips will help lower some of the unwanted effects that arise from alcohol consumption.
- Avoid Dehydration
One of the undesirable effects of alcohol is that it dehydrates your body. A dehydrated body will struggle with normal physiological functions such as fat metabolization. To avoid dehydration, you can drink plenty of water before drinking any alcohol. You may also drink a glass or 2 of water in between your alcoholic beverages.
Drinking water in between alcoholic drinks will make you feel fuller and less likely to over consume your drinks. This will leave you feeling much better and alive the following morning.
- Raise Your Metabolism
Since alcohol is made up of empty calories, you want to utilize these calories as soon as possible after a session of drinking out. So why not do some intense cardio and resistance exercises just before heading out to have your drinks. Since resistance training and cardio result in a sustained increase in metabolism for up to 12 hours after working out, the alcohol calories will be expended quicker.
- Watch what you drink
If you consume drinks with a low caloric value but higher percentage alcohol, like wine for instance you are more likely to consume less alcohol resulting in a lower overall calorie consumption.
Avoid sweet cocktails and never mix your beverages with juices, sodas or syrups as they will cause an increase in your blood glucose levels and result in an insulin spike. This will result in fat storage. It is better to have your drinks on the rocks or mixed with some water.
- Stay away from the Greasy foods
It is advisable to eat a vegetable or protein rich meal whenever you feel hungry after some drinks. We all know how tempting and mouth-watering fatty foods such as pizza, chicken wings, etc. look and taste, especially after a few pints of lager. Remember that eating fatty food during or after drinking alcohol is the worst thing you can do for your fat loss.
- Devise a Recovery Workout and Hydration Plan
When you get home after a session out imbibing alcohol, drink plenty of water to maintain your hydration. You might also want to do some cardio the following morning. If you are not feeling too good keep the cardio sessions mild to moderate on an empty stomach and sustained over a period of 30 to 45 minutes.
If you stick to these few tips you will get the most out of your drinking session with the least weight gain. Do note that binge drinking is not good for your health and will result in many unwanted side effects. Consume alcohol in moderation and never drink and drive.