First of all, I’m not your mother.
What you do is your business. I won’t make the argument that booze is good for you (though one glass of wine a day seems to have some benefit, unless you’re strictly adhering to ONE, you lose that benefit). But it’s your legal right IF you’re of age. This isn’t a post making an argument for or against booze. It’s just info that’s good to know. :)
Your Body On Booze
We already know what happens when we drink. We feel relaxed, uninhibited. The pleasure centers become lit up and we get silly. But when we drink too much, we can get sick, dizzy, lose our balance, blackout, and even DIE. There’s a fine line between tipsy, drunk and poisoned. The tipsier we get the less willpower we have to NOT cross those lines.
The effects of alcohol on the body get more and more volatile as our blood-alcohol level rises. While that does correlate to the amount of alcohol we consume, it differs from person to person. Generally, the bigger you are, the higher a tolerance you have, but no two people have the same tolerance for booze. A few drinks can send one person over the edge, while another would need much, much more.
Here’s what happens when your blood alcohol level rises…
0.03 - 0.12 (Euphoria)
- Mild euphoria, sociability, talkitiveness
- Increased self-confidence; decreased inhibitions
- Diminution of attention, judgment and control
- Beginning of sensory-motor impairment
- Loss of efficiency in finer performance tests
0.09 - 0.25 (Excitement)
- Emotional instability; loss of critical judgment
- Impairment of perception, memory and comprehension
- Decreased sensitory response; increased reaction time
- Reduced visual acuity; peripheral vision and glare recovery
- Sensory-motor incoordination; impaired balance
0.18 - 0.30 (Confusion)
- Disorientation, mental confusion; dizziness
- Exaggerated emotional states
- Disturbances of vision and of perception of color, form, motion and dimensions
- Increased pain threshold
- Increased muscular incoordination; staggering gait; slurred speech
- Apathy, lethargy
0.25 - 0.40 (Stupor)
- General inertia; approaching loss of motor functions
- Markedly decreased response to stimuli
- Marked muscular incoordination; inability to stand or walk
- Vomiting; incontinence
- Impaired consciousness; sleep or stupor
0.35 - 0.50 (Coma)
- Complete unconsciousness
- Depressed or abolished reflexes
- Subnormal body temperature
- Impairment of circulation and respiration
- Possible death
0.45 + (Death)
- Death from respiratory arrest
Other booze-y facts…
1. BREAKING THE SEAL: Alcohol is a diuretic, booze causes your
2. MINERAL LOSS: Along with this water loss you lose important minerals, such as magnesium, potassium, calcium and zinc. These minerals are vital to the maintenance of fluid balance, chemical reactions, and muscle contraction and relaxation. Getting enough water is vital to stave off some side effects, but you also need to balance the other minerals you’re lacking by eating well & healthy that night (or the following morning). Bananas are a great hangover food.
4. EAT BEFORE YOU DRINK. Alcohol goes through quickly and can hit your liver & brain in minutes. When you’ve got food in your tummy, it’s a slower process…. but the alcohol grabs priority once it hits the small intestine. That’s where it gets into the bloodstream.
5. WATCH THE SNACKING. Booze causes you to lose willpower it’s true, but it also MAKES us hungry by triggering fatigue. When we’re TIRED, we look for energy and we get most from carbohydrates and fats. That, combined with lower willpower, means a storm for late night cravings and overeating.
6. DRINK SLOWLY. If you drink slowly or moderately, the liver has time to process the alcohol as it comes in. Think of it as a workload: a little bit at a time is manageable. If you drink too much at once, the liver can’t process it right away and the alcohol spends time bouncing around your body. It’s like a backlog: your liver can only handle so much ‘work’ at once. While the alcohol’s bouncing around, it’ll be destroying your speech, vision, reasoning and judgment. This is why having a lot of booze at once (chugging) can make you feel much more inebriated than consuming the same amount of alcohol over an hour or so.
7. YOUR LIVER WORKS OVERTIME: The liver gets rid of 95% of alcohol from the body. The remainder is eliminated through by breath, pee, sweat, feces, milk and spit. Keep in mind… as the liver works to get the booze out of your system, it stops doing all the other work it’s supposed to do.
8. GENDER & GENES AFFECT YOUR RESPONSE. Although not explained, studies appear to show that women eliminate alcohol from their bodies at a rate 10% greater than that of men. Genes also have an effect on how we absorb booze.
9. SLOWER OUT THAN IN: The rate at which healthy people metabolize alcohol is about one drink or .5 oz (15 ml) of alcohol per hour. The tends to be higher when blood alcohol levels are super high. Alcoholics may (depending on liver health) metabolize alcohol at a significantly higher rate than the average. This rate diminishes with age (hence the reason you can’t drink like you used to in college).
10. IT’S NOT JUST THE CALORIES FROM THE BOOZE. Alcohol has NO nutritional value, it’s true, but your body treats the calories differently and reacts to them differently. Other drinks & foods are digested & absorbed slowly. Alcohol gets absorbed immediately and needs no digestion. It’s viewed by the body as a toxin, so it gets priority. When the body’s processing alcohol, it is not able to properly break down other foods: other calories that would have normally been used are converted to energy are carried away for storage on your body instead.
11. BOOZE-Y SLEEP ISN’T GOOD SLEEP AT ALL. Drinking may help induce sleep, but the sleep you get isn’t very deep. As a result, you get less rest, which can trigger you to eat more calories the next day.
12. TUMMY TROUBLES: Alcohol can also increase the amount of acid that your stomach produces, causing your stomach lining to become inflamed. Over time, excessive alcohol use can lead to serious health problems, including stomach ulcers, liver disease & heart troubles.
13. WINE, BEER, LIQUOR: CARBS & CALORIES: As I mentionned above, the calories you drink aren’t nearly as bad as the calories they inspire you to eat that night (and the next day). Some people assume that drinking liquor is more diet-friendly because it has no carbs (whereas wine & beer both have carbs). But in terms of calories, there’s little difference. Plus, we often mix liquor with sodas & juices: carby calorie TRAPS. If you’re going to indulge, use club soda, instead of fruit juice or soda. As a rule, aweeter drinks, whether liquor or wine, tend to have more sugar, and therefore more calories. In that respect, dry wines usually have fewer calories than sweet wines. Lighter colored beers tend to have fewer calories than darker colored beers.
14. ONE TO TWO GLASSES OF WINE: There are many, MANY studies confirming the health benefits of 1-2 glasses of red wine a day. However, more than 1 or 2 and you’re in the same territory as all other booze. You can’t drink the bottle and claim it’s healthy!
15. EVERYTHING IN MODERATION: While everything above is TRUE, alcohol can be a part of a healthy lifestyle. Keep it in check (meaning every now and then, NOT every other day), drink loads of water and eat well.
16. RECOVERY: Prepare to MOVE the next day! Don’t drown in your hangover. Don’t do a crazy workout, but a walk will help get you back on track. Yoga too. Eat clean & well, and drink TONS of water before you fall asleep and first thing in the morning. Remember, one bad night does not a life ruin. Move forward, as healthy as possible, and you’ll be fine!
The list below breaks down the number of calories in typical alcoholic drinks.
Red wine, 5 oz., 100 calories
White wine, 5 oz. 100 calories
Champagne, 5 oz. 130 calories
Light beer, 12 oz. 105 calories
Regular beer, 12 oz. 140 calories
Dark beer, 12 oz. 170 calories
Cosmopolitan, 3 oz. 165 calories
Martini, 3 oz. 205 calories
Long Island iced tea, 8 oz. 400 calories
Gin & Tonic, 8 oz. 175 calories
Rum & Soda, 8 oz. 180 calories
Margarita, 8 oz. 200 calories
Whiskey Sour, 4 oz. 200 calories