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Monday, 7 May 2012

Alcohol


Alcohol

Many of us enjoy alcohol and in certain circumstances, a moderate amount of alcohol drinks can be beneficial. However, generally, alcohol is bad for us – especially when we have workout goals to aim at.

What is Alcohol?

Alcohol is the common term used for ethanol. It is used in alcoholic drinks and is actually toxic, at moderate to high levels, to us humans. Despite feelings of euphoria when drinking alcohol, it is actually a depressant. Alcohol has a number of impacts on our health.

Benefits of alcohol

There is some evidence to suggest that, when consumed in moderation, alcohol be beneficial to us. Some research shows that the risk of heart disease can be reduced with a moderate intake of alcohol.

Another potential benefit is seen from drinking red wine. It contains flavonoids that can act as anti-oxidants (which have been discussed here). This helps to reduce the build up of atherosclerosis.

Negative Effects of Alcohol

However, for most of us, the amount of alcohol we drink will impact us in a negative manner. Aside from the hangover of the next day, there are more long-term effects that we may endure from drinking too much alcohol.

First of all, there are a lot of calories consumed when we go for a few drinks, and this is why drinking alcohol can lead to weight gain, as well as making it so difficult to lose the gut – there is a reason it’s called a beer belly.

The liver is one organ that it is at major risk of damage due to too much alcohol. There can be progressive damage caused through a condition known as cirrhosis. This can lead to liver failure, liver cancer and in extreme cases death.

There is evidence to suggest that the nervous system can be damaged on various levels. The brain can get damaged, and this can lead to problems such as depression.

Problems such as a weakened heart, high blood pressure and stroke can all develop from excessive alcohol consumption.

Recommended Units

There are a number of sources to find out the recommended units of alcohol. If we stick to these then alcohol poses little risk to our health. Two to three units of alcohol for women and three to four units for men, is a generally accepted amount of alcohol to consume per day.

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