Drinking alcohol and staying healthy often do not go hand in hand. Alcohol, like soda, is just empty calories that add no nutritional value to your body. The argument for drinking alcohol is that we don’t drink it for the nutritional value. Very often when college aged participate in drinking liquor it is done it what is known as “binge” behavior. We drink excessive amounts on the weekends and often none during the week. This binge behavior can have immense effects on our body and in fact cause us to gain access weight.
The average alcoholic beverage contains carbs, sugar and ethanol. When the beverage is consumed it goes to the stomach where some of the alcohol is absorbed through the stomach lining into the bloodstream, the carbs and sugar get digested through the traditional digestive tract and then the ethanol is diverted to the liver. The way your body treats the alcohol leads to a disruption in the body’s processing of food. Ethanol, which has no nutritional value, gets burned off first. Then any calories remaining in your stomach, either from the alcohol or the food you ate with the drink, gets stored as fat. Often times the food choices we make while drinking are usually unhealthy. While things like protein and carbs require some body energy to be processed, fat requires none and is then directly deposited. With all this information out there, we still ignore the warning signs of alcohol and how bad it can be for our body, and consume it anyway. Realistically college kids aren’t going to be stop drinking anytime soon. The remedy in this case may not be to give up drinking entirely, just how we do it.
When our bodies consume alcohol we recognize it as a toxin and struggle to metabolize it. Our bodies cannot adapt to metabolizing alcohol when it is only done excessively and occasionally. In that case our body quickly turns it into fat and stores it. Although, when we drink in moderation more often our bodies can learn to handle to processing of alcohol in a more efficient matter. In people who drink eight ounces of alcohol daily do not store the calories consumed while drinking as fat. As an overall lifestyle, those who drink moderately over time learn to make concessions in their diet when they expect they will be drinking.
Another obstacle we face while drinking is that often bar tenders will serve us more than the suggested amount. As well, if we are serving ourselves we have a tough time measuring the amount we should be drinking. In both scenarios we end up over pouring and drinking too much. To help control the over pouring, a good option is to order a bottle of light beer. This is already portion controlled for us and therefore we are not left to our own devices.
In reality, college student are not going to stop drinking. Although, it is realistic to think that we have the power to change our drinking habits and how they eventually correlate with our eating habits. By making smarter, lighter more moderate decisions when it comes to alcohol, we will see the effects of those choices throughout our life.
From Women’s Health Magazine