Do you drink alcohol…
It’s an Australian past time to enjoy a few drinks with friends at a BBQ or down at the local pub.
Sometimes it’s not just a “few”
Sometimes it’s A LOT more than that, right?
2 or 3 can quickly turn into 6 or 7
And, like everything else we put in our bodies, we should be aware of its impact on our health: the good, the bad and the ugly.
Yes, there are potential benefits to consuming a moderate amount of alcohol a day, but moderate means 1 drink per day for women and 2 per day for men and the research is ongoing. A study by the School of Public Health at Harvard University found a moderate amount of alcohol raised levels of the good cholesterol, HDL, which protects against heart disease.
It has also been associated with preventing small blood clots that can cause a heart attack or stroke and they found it produced a stronger sensitivity to insulin which can protect against diabetes. Another study by the Catholic University of Campbasso reported a small amount during dinner can decrease the risk of death by 18 percent.
That’s the good news. The bad news?
When an excessive amount of alcohol gets into the bloodstream, it can negatively impact everything in your body.
The Excretory System – Excessive drinking can cause hypoglycemia, pancreatitis, and liver disease.
The Digestive System – alcohol abuse can lead to tooth decay and gum disease, and can cause ulcers in the esophagus, acid reflux and heartburn.
The Central Nervous System – alcohol use gets to the brain and causes slurred speech and balance issues, memory loss long-term term use can actually shrink the frontal lobes of the brain.
Circulatory System – One drink affects the heart, but heavy drinking can cause cardiomyopathy, arrhythmia, high blood pressure, heart attack and even stroke. It’s important to note women are more at risk than men for these issues.
Skeletal and Muscle System – Alcohol abuse makes it harder to grow new bone and increases your chances of osteoporosis while muscles become vulnerable to weakness, cramps and even atrophy.
Immune System – Heavy drinking lowers your immune system and heavy drinkers are more susceptible to pneumonia and tuberculosis.
Alcohol can even affect your sexual and reproductive health.
It can cause erectile dysfunction and infertility in men and in women, heavy drinking can stop menstruation, cause infertility and increase their chances of miscarriage, premature delivery, and stillbirth.
As if that list wasn’t bad enough there is an extremely ugly side to alcohol abuse. Addiction, dementia, cirrhosis, cancer, diabetes, and preventable deaths due to drinking and driving or alcohol poisoning.
Not to mention how terrible your training sessions are after a ‘big weekend’
Listen, this is not a PSA to quit drinking, but a reminder that everything you put in your body has an effect, good or bad, and the more you know the more informed your choices are.
Drink responsibly and enjoy in moderation 🙂
Plus Health Fitness Performance.