18th April 2012, 09:07 AM
The affect of alcohol on your body/diet
I was emailed this yesterday. It's very informative so thought i'd share it on here:
by Zoe Glendenning FCA
Alcohol: The truth.
How often do we say that one cheeky vino or beer won't matter? After all you are eating clean and training hard so surely the odd tipple here and there or in 'moderation' won't harm you right?
Sadly - not!! And this is the exact reason:
Alcohol is ...the purest and most simple chemical sugar that you can give to your body.
Its chemical properties make digestion a nightmare and hence anything your body can't digest, passes into your bloodstream as a toxin. There are many toxins but our focus today is solely on alcohol.
In brief though, the more toxins you put into your body the more fat you will store as your body produces fatty tissue to 'enrobe' and 'protect' your health cells from these so-called harmful toxins - effectively 'hiding it away' - unfortunately that 'away' place is quite often your love handles and abdomen !
When alcohol enters your body, your brain, in a defence-like response will instruct your liver (whose responsibility is detoxification) to quickly eliminate this toxin as soon as possible which sounds great BUT.....isn't actually that great at all !
You see, whilst your body is intent on eliminating and detoxifying this one toxin (alcohol) - your fat burning processes stop, your existing toxins will REMAIN enrobed in your fat stores whilst your body tries to rid you of alcohol - one of the most toxic substances you can consume. It's kind of like your boss giving you LOADS of paperwork - if you have 1 or 2 things to 'deal with' - you'll do them fine, however, if you have 100's you will be overwhelmed and hence need to 'store' this extra work somewhere - likewise this is what your liver does with toxins - 'saves them for later'!
The concentration on burning and eliminating alcohol though will cause your body to store any food you've already eaten for energy later, which if unused (for example if not training), will lead to fat storage - excess energy in the form of carbohydrates is usually converted into fatty acids and stored in one’s fat cells !
But the good news doesn’t stop there !
Alcohol also breaks down amino acids from proteins, elevates cortisol our ABDOMINAL fat storing hormone, lowers testosterone (a fat BURNING hormone) and 'promotes' or increase levels of the female hormone oestrogen - the latter of which hormones is responsible for fat storage in the thighs and glutes (ass)!. Fatter abs, weaker arms and bigger thighs is just ONE side effect of alcohol!
Still fancy a drink?
Alcohol is also extremely calorie dense, containing 7 calories per gram (compared to the 'average' 4 cals/g for protein and carbohydrates and 9 cals/g for fat). These additional 'non-calories' are used by the body mainly for heat production (fat insulation) and are NOT converted to glycogen, which is the main fuel we convert carbohydrates to for muscle activity.
As mentioned, alcohol's 'non-calories' are basically "empty" calories; absent from any nutrients such as vitamins and minerals, which overloads the liver's metabolic pathways = a SLOWER metabolic rate for you and poorer fat burning!
In fact, alcohol actively displaces vitamins from the body causing intestinal cells to stop absorbing thiamin, folacin and B12 - which help the conversion of carbs to energy. Deficiency in these 3 will incur lesser energy conversion and greater fat storage again.
The liver cells lose their efficiency in activating vitamin D and the kidneys excrete an increased amount of magnesium, calcium, potassium and zinc, robbing your body of stores of these essential minerals that it needs for almost every metabolic and enzymatic transaction - ever noticed how TIRED you feel with a hangover?
Having alcohol in your system is ultimately detrimental to any fitness activity. Not only will your exercise performance and result suffer, but you will lose muscle mass, have poorer recovery time, decrease overall strength and endurance, have hindered recovery capabilities, as well as your ability to metabolise fat being reduced - not to mention that your body can take up to 3 DAYS or 72 hours to start metabolising and burning fat again following a night on the tiles!
If that's still not enough, alcohol disrupts your sleep cycle and in women especially, any disruption of your sleep cycle can reduce your human growth hormone output by as much as 70% - meaning muscle, the only tissue that maintains metabolism and what Growth Hormone is responsible for building, will be lesser, your metabolism will be less efficient and you will struggle even more to lose fat....