Alcohol and your health

Can alcohol really affect your health both in exercise and fitness? Yes. There is no debate about it, alcohol impacts negatively on your health and especially deter your exercising efforts. Alcohol has an intoxicating agent that is found in beer, vodka, whisky, scotch and wine. It is formed when carbohydrates, placed in a place without oxygen, ferment. Alcohol has both short and long term effects to your body.

Too much of alcohol causes your body to dehydrate. So when you exercise the night after drinking, you will sweat and lose more water. Dehydration is very risky since it will mean that your blood flow will slow down. Blood carries nutrients and oxygen and a lack of this in some parts of the body will cause your body to be inactive. You will then find that you won’t exercise more since you’re weak. After effects of alcohol such as hangovers, headaches and quick irritation to light and sound will also contribute to inability to exercise.

The liver is another organ at stake due to high intake of alcohol. The liver will be overworked trying to remove the toxins brought about by alcohol and as a result, other body processes will be delayed. This may lead to accumulation of fats which have not been broken down. This will clog the cells and this will result in their death , thus bringing about a condition known as fibrosis. That is why some people, heavy drinkers, have large bellies, especially men.

Alcoholism may also lead to having inadequate sleep. Enough sleep encourages the growth hormone to build body muscles. If therefore, you don’t get enough sleep, your muscle build-up will not be much. This will deter exercise as you will feel weak. Another condition associated with alcohol is weight gain. Alcohol itself has 7 calories per gram since it is a carbohydrate. Like other carbs, it has no known nutrient value. Therefore since the liver gets over worked, these calories will remain and eventually one will gain weight even if you are exercising.

The heart can be a victim of excessive alcohol intake. It may have unusual heart rates which may cause heart disease and cancer. Other diseases associated with alcohol include;kidney disease, liver disease, high blood pressure, obesity and cancer of the liver, mouth and pancreas.

An occasional on or two drinks are allowed, but excessive intake is highly discouraged. Remember, the day before a main event or competition in sports, avoid alcohol at all costs. Do not forget that alcohol impairs your judgment, some things you may do while intoxicated, can make you regret those choices later.

For more information on alcohol and your health, visit The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence website.

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