Alcohol - friend or enemy?

Your health, your liver

Alcohol consumption adds extra strain on the liver. The liver is one of the largest and most important organs in the body. One of its functions is to burn fat. While your liver is busy dealing with alcoholic toxins, it cannot burn fat as efficiently. Tiredness and lethargy often result from an overworked liver. Alcohol is basically a toxin and your body has to work extra hard to deal with its negative effects.

Does alcohol really help you when you feel stressed?

In small doses and after the first few minutes of taking alcohol, it has the apparency of making you feel more relaxed. However, this feeling does not last for very long as the more you drink, the more it acts as a depressant. The trouble is your body gets used to certain levels of alcohol and will start to demand more to get the same effect.

When we get stressed, it is all too easy to drink alcohol and eat ‘comfort foods’ and be fooled that they help to deal with stress. While they may give you a fast rush of energy and artificially alleviate your mood, this will soon wear off leaving you tired and depleted and craving the next fix. This, in turn, can play havoc with fluctuations in your weight. Also, alcohol depletes certain B vitamins which are needed when stressed.

Alcohol and serotonin levels

Initially when we drink we may feel elevated, less inhibited and relaxed, making us crave more. But as we continue to drink, our mood becomes more tense and less relaxed. Drinking alcohol can lead to lowered serotonin levels. Serotonin is known as the ‘happy hormone’. It helps to keep us uplifted, contributes to a good night's sleep and an improved mood. Research has shown that drinking alcohol can be a factor in contributing to depression.

More alcohol, more food!

Drinking alcohol can make you want to eat more. It often goes hand in hand that the more you drink, the more you eat. Drinking while trying to lose weight can be simply counter-productive!

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