Alcohol and your body
Everyone can benefit from understanding that alcohol is not like any other drink: it’s absorbed differently, it’s eliminated differently, and it affects us differently.
The following will help you better understand what happens to our bodies when we drink.
How does it all work?
- Alcohol enters your blood through your stomach and intestines
- Once absorbed, it is carried to other parts of the body very quickly
- Though it might not feel this way, it reaches your brain almost as soon
as you take a drink
- Alcohol stays in your body until your hard-working liver breaks it down
To reduce long-term health risks, follow Canada’s Low-Risk Drinking GuidelinesYour brain controls your body so alcohol has a big effect on the way you behave. Simply, the more alcohol in your blood, the more effects it will have. Things like: judgment, inhibitions, reaction time, coordination, vision, speech, balance can be impacted by alcohol consumption.
- No more than 10 drinks a week for women, with no more than 2 drinks a day most days and 3 for special occasions
- No more than 15 drinks a week for men, with no more than 3 drinks a day most days and 4 for special occasions
- Not drinking on some days each week
Drinking above these limits results in increasing risk. Other ways to improve and maintain heart health include regular exercise, and by following Canada’s Food Guide and not smoking.
Regular drinking can lead to tolerance (a need for more alcohol to achieve the same effect) and to habit formation. These can lead to alcohol dependence (a condition where alcohol takes a dominant role in one’s life).
What about my personality?
Every beer advertisement makes it seem like alcohol is the key to feeling great. The truth is that it really depends on you and how you’re feeling that day. Maybe you’re the life of the party one night and the drunk crier the next.
If you’re worried about being the “ex texter” or the “frequent fighter” it’s best just to slow down and grab a water. You and your supportive pals will be glad you did.
It might make you chubby (no, seriously)
If you’re trying to lose weight, booze can be a big bummer. A single glass of wine or beer can add major calories to your diet and none of them are good calories. Wine, beer and mixed drinks are all filled with sugar, sugar and more sugar.
One bottle of wine has an average of 750 calories (that’s like having a cheeseburger, fries and a drink), a six-pack of beer averages 900 calories (or a large movie theatre popcorn without the butter).