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The rise of clubs, bars serving craft everything, festivals and sports events have given rise to the modern drinking culture, with plenty of opportunities to binge. But if you put a premium on health, want to build muscle, lose weight or reduce the risk of diseases associated with regular alcohol consumption then reducing your intake can be beneficial. With social pressures, and the enjoyment factor, it’s unrealistic to expect to cut out alcohol all together, but these tips and tricks can give you some pointers to keep your consumption in check.

The rise of clubs, bars serving craft everything, festivals and sports events have given rise to the modern drinking culture, with plenty of opportunities to binge. But if you put a premium on health, want to build muscle, lose weight or reduce the risk of diseases associated with regular alcohol consumption then reducing your intake can be beneficial. With social pressures, and the enjoyment factor, it’s unrealistic to expect to cut out alcohol all together, but these tips and tricks can give you some pointers to keep your consumption in check.

To begin, a brief description of what happens to your system when you drink alcohol is needed. The most important thing to take into account is that as soon as alcohol enters your body, your body starts working to remove it. This is good news, because alcohol can become toxic fairly quickly if it is allowed to build up. Firstly, alcohol is processed in the stomach where about 20% of it enters into the bloodstream, immediately going to your brain. This is why you can feel the effects of an alcohol drink relatively quickly, because it doesn’t have to pass all the way through your digestive system before taking effect. The majority of alcohol is then processed in the liver. The liver is one of the main organs associated with the breakdown and removal of toxic compounds, but there’s only so much it can take – long term excessive consumption of alcohol can lead to permanent liver damage.

 

When you are on a diet you’ll already have already set predetermined goals such as increasing your athletic ability, losing weight or building muscle. Alcohol can impair progress on all of these. It contains almost twice as many calories as protein and carbohydrates; these calories are often referred to as ‘empty’ because they are accompanied by very little nutrition. This can throw your diet out of balance because your taking in so much by getting so little out of it – excessive drinking often leads to unhealthy weight gain. When available to the body, alcohol is used for as an energy source preferentially and blocks the oxidation of other fuels such as fat and carbs, which can contribute to weight gain.

 

There’s also the other side-effect of drinking. You know, that McDonald’s you’re having on your way back home without a care in the world. A night of heavy drinking can lower your blood sugar levels below normal, and decrease impulse control. A natural response to this for many people is to seek out quick, satisfying food- and a lot of it.

 

This isn’t to say that alcohol is all bad and that you should avoid it at all costs. Alcohol in moderation has been associated with reducing the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, particular in people with certain variants of the ADH1 gene.

When taking DNAFit’s DNA test we analyse the genes associated with alcohol sensitivity and can tell you if you fall into this category.

 

Having a beer or two during the big game or a random night out with friends won’t kill you but if you’re looking to accelerate your journey towards your health and fitness goals, then reducing your intake of alcohol can be beneficial.

 

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Alcohol Nutrition Diet Healthy eating Training

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