Alcohol- or, to use its chemical name ETHANOL- is the result of the breakdown of sugar and starches by a fungus (yeast) in a process called fermentation. Beer is made from fermenting barley. Wine comes from fermenting grapes and hard liquor is made from different grains and potatoes. Alcohol can be classified as a food, a drug, or a highly toxic poison. The use and abuse are a main concern and health factor that span a wide cross-section of the population. About two-thirds of all Americans aged 18 years and older drink alcohol. This is because of the wide acceptance of social drinking- television and print ads link alcohol as good times and glamour- it is unlikely that many know a great deal about its true affects.
Alcohol is not only empty calories but it also interferes with the body’s absorption, storage, and use of nutrients, even if they are present in adequate amount in diet. Massive amount of alcohol, ingested over a short period of time can be fatal. Alcohol is also toxic when taken over a long period of time- it causes damage to the liver and in some cases death. One has to remember that 95 percent of alcohol is absorbed directly and immediately enters the blood stream and within minutes the brain.
SO What Alcohol Has To Do With Fitness?
Anyone watching calorie intake to maintain or attain ideal body weight must count the calories in alcohol and the mixers they are served in. Not only are these calories displacing needed nutrients found in foods but the absorption of protein, fats and carbohydrates are impaired -if not monitored, they can quickly mount up as a significant part of the daily intake. A single five-ounce glass of wine has 110 calories. 12 ounce beer has about 150 calories and light beer has approximately 95 calories. One half ounce hard liquor contains 100 calories. These calories can quickly add up along with our daily calories intake. (Keep in mind that 3500 calories equals one pound). So- not only are these calories empty and interferes with the nutrition in our system but it can also damage many organs in the body. Stomach lining, small intestine and liver are the first to breakdown.
Safe And Moderate Drinking…
There is no double that people who drink socially will continue to do so. And unless they are taking drugs that interact adversely, they will do themselves no harm by taking an occasional drink. Nutritional awareness requires that the drinking be moderate and controlled. The key is to avoid entering or creating situations where excessive drinking is easy. The safe amount of alcohol consumption is 7 units a week. One should always consult a doctor is you feel the consumption of alcohol is uncontrollable. One should always consult a doctor is you feel the consumption of alcohol is uncontrollable.