There’s no way around it, alcohol is not good for your system. It slows down your body’s metabolic rate causing you to gain more while burning less. Over the course of time, drinking consistently will create an uphill battle you simply want no part of if you have certain fitness goals. The more you drink, the slower your metabolism will function, the more calories you will consume and the more the alcohol you consume will convert your other foods as fat storage leading to an increased gut size and overall weight gain.
These are just some factors we will touch upon in this article. Other negative factors of drinking include depression, liver problems, heart problems, poor body composition and slowed muscle growth.
Let’s now take a look at these points further, here are 12 ways alcohol negatively effects your system.
12 Slows down your metabolism
One of the worst effects alcohol has on your body is that fact that it slows down your metabolism. This makes those extra calories that much more difficult to burn off. When consuming alcohol, your body shifts its focus from absorbing your food to absorbing the alcohol that you are consuming. This makes the process of digesting your food so much longer than it really should be. Think of your body clicking the pause button on your nutritional regulation and instead shifting its priority to the alcohol that you consumed. This will inevitably leave the undigested foods stored as fat.
According to recent research, alcohol can also cause difficulty digesting carbohydrates, fat and protein. If your goal is to lose weight, alcohol can put a damper on those goals immediately.
11 Contains 7 calories per gram
Yes, on average alcohol contains 7 calories per gram which is a terrible ratio. This can inevitably have an impact on your fat storage and ultimately ruin your body composition you worked so hard to maintain in the gym. A lot of these calories go straight to your gut area. The more times you drink, the worse this probably becomes. Ideally, drinking should be limited to 1-2 glasses every two weeks.
10 Acts on your central nervous system
Alcohol can also have an impact on your behavior. It not only travels through the body, but also travels through the brain and other parts of your central nervous system. Alcohol can not only leave you severely impaired but can also have long-term side effects such as depression. It can also lead to a dependency as we will see later in this article, alcohol can turn into an addiction that your mind craves.
9 Can cause heart damage
According to recent research, having two drinks per day can increase your risk of atrial fibrillation by 17 percent. Having this kind of irregular heartbeat quadruples your risk of suffering from a stroke and triples your risk of developing a heart attack. In addition to this, alcohol can also increase your blood pressure significantly.
8 Effects on body composition
In the world of fitness, body composition is used to describe the percentage of fat, bone, water and muscle in the body. Ultimately, body composition lets us know how lean we are.
Once the alcohol is broken down in our system, the process sparks a negative change in nutrient storage and body composition. This inevitably will lead to increased fat storage, which will hurt your body composition.
7 Gut size
As we previously discussed in this article, on average a drink contains 7 calories per gram. You’re gut is one of the first places that takes a hit from all the alcohol you consume. For example beer drinkers, typically get a “beer belly”. If you’re looking to lose fat around your central abdominal region, drinking is one of the worst things you can do to shrinking this area.
6 Can turn into an addiction
Drinking too much over time can turn what we may consider to be casual drinking into an addiction. Those addicted to alcohol can become physically and emotionally dependant on the substance. Cases of withdrawal can be so extreme that they can actually lead to life threatening situations. Other symptoms of stopping after developing an addiction include nausea, anxiety, nervousness and tremors. A proper detoxification is required when you are letting go of this addiction.
5 Alcohol is used as the primary fuel source
Fat oxidation is depressed in the body for more than four hours after alcohol is consumed, if you’re looking to burn fat, this is not good news. Once alcohol is consumed, it turns into the primary fuel source in the body. So really your body is immediately working on burning the alcohol and not the food in your system. This causes your food to be stuck for longer periods of time making weight loss that much more difficult. If you decide to eat a heavy carbohydrate meal while consuming alcohol at the same time, your meal will be stored as fat, something that you don’t want especially if you’re looking to lean out. Digesting alcohol can put a huge damper on the processing of other foods.
4 Even small amounts can pause digestion
Even if you plan on consuming small amounts of alcohol, your system will still feel the effects. There really is no way around it, although the effects will lessen due to the lowered amount, your body will still go through some form of indigestion and pause the breakdown of fat. Consuming alcohol for longer periods of time can increase the fat storage even further, this will ultimately make fat-loss an uphill battle you simply won’t conquer.
3 Damages liver and immune system
One of the most damaging factors of drinking takes place in your liver. Not only is food absorption skewed but your immune system also weakens through the process of drinking consistently. This can lead to common sicknesses because of a weak immune system. Your liver can also develop some serious problems like steatosis, alcoholic hepatitis, fibrosis and cirrhosis.
2 Prioritize fat storage
Once alcohol goes into your system the body quickly focuses on storing your food as fat. If you’re looking to lose weight, this is not the path you want to take. The body immediately switches its focus to absorbing and digesting the alcohol, leaving the food you ate to be left undigested. So what happens to this undigested food. Well, it simply stores as fat. While the body is so busy processing the alcohol your food is put aside and kept as fat storage. This becomes increasingly difficult to burn off. Without alcohol, your metabolism would be able to process this food regularly without any interruptions or the need to store it as fat.
1 Slows down muscle growth
Yes, alcohol can also prohibit muscle development and growth. Alcohol creates imbalances with your hormonal and inflammatory responses to exercise. This makes it increasingly difficult for your body to build and repair. Proper dietary proteins, carbs and fats are the only essential components your body needs in order to build itself properly. Consuming alcohol will only make the journey that much more difficult. If you plan on developing your muscles, stay away from alcohol.