This one is all based around alcohol and comes from a post from our nutritionist Shane.

Take a read if you want to know how to drink alcohol and lose weight…
[SCIENCE CORNER- ALCOHOL, WEIGHT GAIN AND HEALTH]

Today I wanted to share a post with you all about a very important area, the effects of alcohol on exercise, weight gain, and health in general.
To begin with I want to clearly outline that alcohol is NOT the enemy, this is not a post designed to sway you all into vilifying alcohol,

But more of a post swayed towards the effects of continuous OVERCONSUMPTION of alcohol, BINGE DRINKING, and the effects it can have on many areas.
Both men and women currently have a weekly recommendation of no more than 14 units of alcohol, with non-alcohol days interspersing days of alcohol consumption.

If you stick to these guidelines your risk of any negative effects associated with over-consumption will be markedly reduced.

Now, let’s take a look in more depth the effects alcohol can have on our results and health…
In the following sections I will be using more of a list approach, as alcohol effects many separate areas simultaneously.
Hopefully this will give you a really great insight into many different areas, without getting overloaded by a post that could quite easily be the length of an encyclopaedia if fully examined!!

>>> ALCOHOL, WEIGHT, AND WEIGHT GAIN <<< >Alcohol cannot be stored in the body when consumed; as a result it takes absolute priority over a variety of processes that take place in the body including lipid oxidation (Using stored fat as an energy source). Using fat as an energy source can be reduced by up to 73% after consuming alcohol!!

>Research has shown a strong positive correlation between the amount of fat in an individual’s dietary intakes, and the amount of alcohol consumed. The more alcohol, the more fat in the diet. As you know fat is NOT the enemy, but overconsumption of fat easily leads to peaks in calorie intakes and therefore weight gain.

>Following on from the previous point, the more alcohol we consume, the heavier we tend to be

>Heavy drinking showed a strong positive correlation with weight GAIN also. So not only are you heavier, but the rate at which you GAIN weight is likely increased too, regardless of the type of alcohol that is consumed.

>It seems overall when alcohol is consumed, it is normally in ADDITION to food intakes, and not swapped calorie for calorie with foods for example. With alcohol coming in a 7 cals per gram, (Fat is 9cals per gram!) it’s easy to see how we can go overboard on calorie consumption.

>>> ALCOHOL EXERCISE IMPAIRMENT AND HEALTH <<< >During exercise the use of glucose (sugar) and amino acids (protein) is inhibited, and has an adverse effect on energy supply after consuming alcohol.

>Regular overconsumption of alcohol results in a reduction of capillarisation. This basically means that the amount of really tiny blood vessels that surround your muscle tissue used to transport oxygen to the exercising muscle tissue, and carry away bi-products like lactic acid etc. is reduced. This has a negative impact on how much oxygen reaches muscles during exercise and impairs strength and endurance performance.

>Fat content within the blood is increased during the recovery period after exercise when alcohol is consumed.

>The immune system is impaired when consuming alcohol. It’s ability to fend off bacterial and viral infection is reduced.

>There is extensive research concerning the effect of regular overconsumption of alcohol on the health and function of the brain. There is a significant increase in likelihood of strokes with an increase in the overconsumption of alcohol.

>Alcohol can affect many internal organs within the body, the liver being an obvious one. The reason is that as alcohol is processed, the bi-product that is formed is toxic to the liver. It also affects the heart- the left and right ventricles (Heart muscles) as well as the nerves responsible for regular heart beats.

>>> CONCLUSION ! <<<

As I mentioned at the start, this is not a post to convince you to never drink alcohol again,
(In fact I have a little glass of red on my desk as I type this!)
but MANY people in the UK regularly consume above and beyond the recommended intake.

No matter if you take note from here or not, the effect it is likely to have on an area of your health, performance, body weight, and potentially many other areas is very much apparent.

If you nip out at the weekends, and have a larger/wine/cocktails etc with your mates, this can easily start exceeding the 1000 calorie mark…

After this what normally happens? A Naturally unquenchable want for junk foods (full of calories).

When 1 slice of dominoes meat feast pizza is over 300 cals, its EASY to see where yet ANOTHER 1000+ cals can potentially be added to the days intakes…

All this ON TOP of what you consumed throughout the day for breakfast, lunch and evening meal.
Hope this post helps open your eyes when it comes to alcohol, and to learn to consume in moderation, spaced out throughout the week.

If you do this, you can actually have POSITIVE health effects, such as a reduction in stress, and cardiovascular disease risk factors!

Worth a thought!!