Everything in moderation is a good approach when it comes to alcohol. Alcohol is a depressant so many use it to calm them down after a long days work. Alcohol does have calories, it can cause weight gain. It also raises blood sugar so it's important to ONLY drink with food (preferably fat and protein). For some, alcohol promotes overeating.... Mostly because it raises the blood sugar so rapidly and then your body's energy crashes as insulin pulls out too much sugar.
Recommend 1-2 drinks maximum per day however for some this can be too much. Many have liver issues or don't have the enzyme to break down the sugar in alcohol so 1 drink can feel like 3 or 4.
At parties or nights out where there is more alcohol than you would like to drink, chose wisely.... Have mineral water in-between drinks so you can space it out and hydrate yourself. If you know that you are going to have more than 1-2 drinks, chose a lighter alcohol like champagne or sangria. Light beer can also be a good choice, however, I know many who don't like it or can't tolerate wheat. If you are gluten intolerant, the best choices are wine, vodka (pure form) or pure tequila.
Never take the attitude that alcohol replaces food to save calories. Starving or eating very little and drinking more sets you up for problems. Nutrient depletion takes place very quickly if this is a pattern. Alcohol is a diuretic and flushes out electrolytes and water soluble vitamins (b-complex and vitamin C). This is the main reason you feel hungover in the morning. A hangover is really dehydration and a depletion of nutrients.
Alcohol irritates the gut lining which will lead to inflammation or ulcers down the road. A damaged or irritated gut also decreases good absorption of nutrients and eventually a sick body. High triglycerides, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure can all be a result of too much alcohol. Alcohol also disrupts the balance of hormones in the body since hormones rely on the brain and many nutrients to function properly.In summary, alcohol "can" cause the following problems:
- Water loss or dehydration
- Electrolyte depletion
- Vitamin Deficiency – especially b's and c Gastro-intestinal issues
- Type II diabetes or other diseases of the pancreas
- Decreases Brain Cells