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Sip Smarter: How alcohol affects your health

March 14, 2016

Let’s face it, alcohol is a part of our culture, and while it may be nice to take part in your social celebration with a glass of wine or celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with green beer, it is never recommended to drink in excess. Drinking alcohol can deplete nutrients and burden your liver, it can affect a person’s blood pressure, heart rate, immunity and more1.

The intention of course, is to enjoy your social function or evening out without neglecting the health of your body. So for the special occasions where you will be consuming alcohol, keep these things in mind:

It’s dehydrating

Alcohol’s dehydrating action may be the most commonly observed side effect of a night out, lending to nutrient depletion and electrolyte loss, thus perpetuating symptoms associated with a “hangover”, such as headache, fatigue and nausea. Drinking plenty of water is essential. A glass of water between each alcohol-containing drink may help to decrease the overall volume of alcohol consumed while also helping to prevent dehydration. Coconut water is good option for hydration that provides a natural supply of electrolytes.

effects of alcohol

It’s depleting

Because of alcohol’s dehydrating action, water soluble nutrients like B vitamins and vitamin C can be depleted when consuming alcohol. B vitamins play an important role in energy production and nervous system health; while vitamin C is an important antioxidant for the maintenance of good health.

Supplementing with a B-Complex and Vitamin C may help to counteract depletion by replacing what is lost in urine.

It burdens your liver

The majority of alcohol consumed will be metabolized in the liver increasing its toxic load. Milk Thistle is traditionally used in Herbal Medicine as a liver protectant. Milk Thistle can help improve liver function and detoxifying activity throughout the body.

The effects of alcohol

If you do mistakenly overreach your limits, make sure you get plenty of rest, drink lots of water and eat a healthy breakfast. Drinking ginger tea or taking a ginger supplement has been shown to reduce feelings of nausea if you happen to have an upset stomach.


References:

  1. http://www.niaaa.nih.gov/alcohol-health/alcohols-effects-body

 

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