We know alcohol usually has a lot of calories and can therefore contribute to weight gain, especially when one glass turns into four, but then we’re also told it can be good for us – it can definitely can confusing. Can we really blame it on the a a a a a alcohol like Jamie Foxx tells us to? (Love that song).
We often see those posts on Facebook and Twitter that tell us “drinking wine is good for you”. Full of antioxidants which help protect your body from damage caused by free radicals, alcohol can also help lower blood pressure and reduce your risk of heart disease. These are just a couple of examples of how alcohol can benefit you. This is fantastic news, and it certainly is true, but only so when drinking in moderation through the week. In other words, don’t pound back 3 bottles of your best full-bodied red tomorrow night and expect to improve your health.
Although there certainly are many impressive health benefits of drinking a moderate amount of alcohol (experts define as 1-2 drinks a day – 1 drink being 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of 80-proof distilled spirits) remember that an excess amount of alcohol will most certainly be worse for your body than not drinking at all.
Talk About Dehydration
Alcohol is extremely dehydrating to the body, mainly due to increased urination. Alcohol literally dehydrates every part of your body, and this dehydration is actually the cause of most of those not-so-fun symptoms you may experience the next day, including headache, dizziness and nausea. Also remember that the older you get, the worse you tend to feel after drinking, because it takes your body longer to recover from this dehydrated state. So in other words, it takes a lot longer for you to start feeling like your normal self and less like a piece of crap after a couple of rye and cokes than it did five years ago.
Not Exactly Nutritious
There are certainly some known health benefits to consuming alcohol in moderation, but also some important health risks to be aware of if you’re drinking more than you should be. That includes an increased risk of high blood pressure, liver damage, and cancer, just as a few examples, not to mention obesity. Not only are there a lot of calories in the average drink, but there’s also the fact that consuming alcohol increases your appetite and often prevents you from making smart choices, which means you may end up chowing down on a lot more food than you would otherwise, leading to an excess of calories at the end of the day.
Another thing – if you drink too much (and we all sometimes do) you’re going to feel it the next day. Meaning you’ll probably feel pretty awful when you wake up and this is going to make it that much harder for you to get motivated, get out of bed, and get your workout in. Even if you’re usually up and at ’em, ready and eager to get started with that killer HIIT session early in the morning, if you’re dealing with a headache and nausea, chances are you won’t be as thrilled about it. Having a drink or two in the evening or a fun night out here and there is definitely acceptable and no one’s saying it’s bad to drink. Just make sure you’re not letting it cause problems in your life, health-related or otherwise, and all is good.
You should never deprive yourself of something you enjoy, but as always, there’s that word again – moderation. Overindulging may be fun now and again, but if healthy, happy living is important to you, it’s definitely necessary to take it easy with the alcohol and focus on filling your body with healthy foods and drinks instead.