We are all aware that alcohol is not really the best thing when it comes to health – especially when consumed excessively. However the end of year festivities are looming down on us, it’s time to take a closer look. What are the effects? And how to handle it?
“The effect of alcohol on your body depends on a number of factors, including your gender, weight and genetic makeup. (…) Women [for example], who tend to have more body fat than men, will also tend to be more affected by alcohol [since it] is soluble in fat. (…) And, in essence, the hangover is your body’s way of telling you it is having a hard time metabolizing the alcohol and is struggling with elevated toxicity” – Dr Mercola.
WHAT IS THE IMPACT OF ALCOHOL ON YOUR BODY?
Whether or not you suffer from hangovers, consuming alcohol causes tremendous biological damage and over time – even over as short a period as one month – alcohol has dire consequences, within which:
- Increased liver stiffness – which increases your risk of cirrhosis
- Diminished memories – caused by ethanol build-up in your brain which stops you from forming new memories, causes your hippocampus to shrink and affects your memory and learning
- Promoted systemic inflammation – as your body reacts to alcohol like it would an injury or infection
- Increased stress on the heart – raising your risk for cardiomyopathy, arrhythmias, high blood pressure and stroke
- Soaring endotoxin levels – causing bacteria to escape your gut and flood in your blood stream.
HOW TO MANAGE THOSE RISKS?
The best option would obviously be not to drink at all.
However, if you have no way to escape it, the below supplements might help you “pre-tox” your body – therefore minimising the damage associated with alcohol consumption.
** THOSE SUPPLEMENTS DO NOT MAKE YOU LESS SUSCEPTIBLE TO ALCOHOL POISONING NOR OTHER ACUTE ADVERSE REACTIONS ASSOCIATED WITH BINGE DRINKING. THEY SHOULD ONLY BE TAKEN AFTER CHECKING WITH YOUR DOCTOR**
TAKE B VITAMINS BEFORE AND AFTER DRINKING:
Alcohol depletes B vitamins in your body but they are necessary to eliminate it from your body. For example, Vitamin B6 may help to lessen hangover symptoms.
INTEGRATE MILK THISTLE AS A SUPPLEMENT:
Milk thistle contains silymarin and silybin, antioxidants known to help protect your liver against toxins and to support liver regeneration. It will be most useful when taken regularly, especially if you’ll be having alcohol on more than one occasion.
START STOCKING UP ON VITAMIN C:
Making sure you eat vitamin C rich foods and supplements before drinking will help reduce alcohol-induced oxidative stress on your liver.
GET YOUR MAGNESIUM SUPPLEMENTS:
Magnesium is a nutrient that many of us are already deficient in, and things get worse when we put alcohol in the mix – yet it has fabulous anti-inflammatory properties which help reduce hangover symptoms. So, if you don’t eat magnesium-rich foods yet, you may want to start taking magnesium supplements.
OTHER COMMON-SENSE ADVICES
- Eat before you start drinking, better decisions are easier on a full stomach
- Whatever you drink, make sure you have the best possible quality of alcohol
- Avoid sugary cocktails as the sugar they contain come with its own health issues
- Make sure you have some good healthy hangover breakfast ready in your fridge, such as eggs, avocados, salmon or a green smoothie: some high quality protein and good fats!
I am counting on you to protect your health, practice self-care, drink responsibly and moderately.
Take the first step to a healthier, happier life,
book your free session with me here
Integrative Nutrition Health Coach
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