With the holiday season at the doorstep, it can be a time of excess - both food and drinking. The culture, the togetherness, the fun and holiday spirit means we often end up consuming more of both than is good for us.
In January 2023 Canada changed the recommendation to way LESS alcohol each week, like two drinks a week down from 15. Interestingly the pendulum for many is swinging the other way towards abstinence.
Nutritionally speaking, alcohol is an antinutrient, meaning that it gives your body no nutrients and uses many vitamins like C and the B’s to break it down or detoxify it, leaving you in a deficit. Alcohol cannot be efficiently used by the body as energy, and in fact, it totally messes with your mitochondria, the energy production part of your cell that we talked about in episode 128 and how to fuel your mitochondria for health - sorry to say that alcohol puts the kibosh on any support to your overall health.
The detoxification process is a lot of work for the liver, as it’s a toxin that must be dealt with, but before that happens, it creates a wake of disruption to neurotransmitters - those are your body's chemical messengers that carry messages from one nerve cell across a space to the next nerve, muscle or gland cell - itimpairs cognitive function andcompromises the immune system andnegatively affects your good gut bacteria or microbiome.Studies clearly show neurodegeneration (that’s your brain) with an average of 3-4 drinks a night or 21-24 a week. While you might think cutting back to just weekends might seem like a better option, at a low to moderate consumption of 7 - 14 drinks a week whether that’s daily or concentrated on the weekend, brain degeneration is still evident at any level of consumption.
Think you’ll have less fun without it? A study out of the University of Sussex published stats of those who went without alcohol: 71 percent said that they enjoyed a better quality of sleep, 67 percent had higher energy levels, 58 percent of participants lost weight, 57 percent reported improved concentration, 54 percent said that they noticed better skin health, but what caught my eye is that76 percent understood when they felt more tempted to drink and why and71 percent of participants learned that they did not need alcohol to have fun. That last one must have been quite an awakening for participants, as it seems that alcohol and enhancing whatever you do in the realm of fun go hand in hand.
The hardest thing to navigate, as my guest shared, is the people around you feeling uncomfortable that you’re not drinking. I have experienced the same and find when I say that I don’t drink because it gives me migraines, I get a pass.
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