There are lots of reasons to cut back on alcohol. In my office, the conversation is usually about behavioral factors, stressed/ruined relationships, and uncontrollable addiction. However, it’s also very important to be aware of the negative effects alcohol has on your health. — Beyond, “yea, it’s gonna ruin my liver and 50 years from now something bad might happen. w/e.”
I found an awesome article originally posted on SportLuxe that breaks down how your body metabolizes alcohol and why it’s so bad for you today (not 100 years from now). The author gives a much more detailed play by play, but here’s the main facts you need to know:
- Unlike protein, fat and carbohydrates, the human body can’t store alcohol.
- Alcohol has a high calorie density of 7 calories per gram. (carbs and protein have 4 calories per gram; fat has 9 calories per gram.)
- Acetaldehyde, one of the intermediate products of alcohol metabolism, is extremely toxic to your body.
- As our body tries to convert acetaldehyde it STOPS metabolizing protein, fat and carbohydrates until it’s converted into something that our body can burn off.
- High blood sugar levels can be toxic to our bodies.
- Our bodies can only hold approximately 300-700 grams of stored glycogen (carbohydrates) in the muscle and liver. After that everything gets stored as fat, usually in the belly.
Next time you’re debating that drink, remember to consider the nutritionless calories and sugar that are toxic for your body, in addition to the thoughts of “I’ll just have 2” or “no one is here so I won’t be in trouble”.