How Does Alcohol Affect Your Health & Performance?

February 3, 2022
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Alcohol is a huge part of our social lives. And even more so, in the modern way of working long hours and deadlines mean it’s the new way of relaxing.
How often do you drink alcohol?
Is it something you feel holds you back from being in shape?
In your performance at work?
In your mood?
In your relationships?
The big problem society has is that most social situations, network meetings and personal problems are managed using alcohol.
And you are most likely ridiculed by your peers if you turn it down.
It gives us confidence in those awkward social meetings.
Especially in business when you have that nervous initial networking meeting.
Even though it lifts you up, it also drives you down. People nowadays are used to functioning at 60-70% capacity. The use of alcohol adds to this underperformance. 
And these stats are eye-opening.
  • Alcohol is the cause of 17 million sick days every year in the UK
  • UK industry loses £7.3 billion a year to alcohol-related sickness and absence
The use of alcohol adds to this underperformance. 
How much better at work, in your relationships could you be without too much booze?
Let’s be clear – we as health coaches do drink. It’s social and it’s fun.
But what we see though is too many professionals are doing it too much. And it results in an overall unhealthy mental and physical state. There is a grey area of functioning alcoholics and people who like a drink. No one really knows where that line is.
So what impact does alcohol have on you?

1. Alcohol is “empty” calories

Alcoholic drinks are  “empty” calories. This means that they provide your body with calories but contain very few nutrients.
There are almost 155 calories in one 12-ounce can of beer, and 125 calories in a 5-ounce glass of red wine. By comparison, a recommended afternoon snack should have between 150 and 200 calories. A night out with several drinks can lead to consuming a few hundred extra calories.
Drinks that have mixers, such as fruit juice or soda, contain even more calories.

2. Alcohol is used as a primary source of fuel

There are also other elements that can cause weight gain outside of calorie content.
When alcohol is consumed, it’s used first as a fuel source before your body uses anything else. This includes glucose from carbohydrates or lipids from fats.
When your body is using alcohol as a primary source of energy, the excess carbs and fats we have stored, end up NOT being burnt off – so they get turned into the fat we can see and feel on our body.

4. Alcohol Gives You a Gut

The “beer gut” isn’t just a myth
Consuming foods and drinks high in sugar can quickly lead to weight gain. Due to receptors based around your belly, high sugary foods often lead to weight gain around that area.
Beers and wines fall into this category, so beware of where your next tipple ends up.

5. Alcohol Makes You Eat Rubbish!

No one ever got drunk or even had a drink, and then got violently in the mood for a salad! Alternatively, all of us have been willing to push your friend off a bridge to get the first slice of pizza.
Alcohol sends your hormones completely out of balance. It mirrors like a diabetic state, so you crave sugar to bring that balance back. Every hangover is your body acting out a recovering diabetic.
The more you drink the more out of sync your hormones get. So there is very little you can do to control the beast that is telling you to demolish all the carbs.
This rapid surge and drop of insulin can give you permanent diabetes if you are frequently pushing your body to those limits.

6. Alcohol and sex hormones

Alcohol intake can affect levels of hormones in the body, especially testosterone.
For Men over 30, your Testosterone is already in rapid decline every year we age.
Testosterone is a sex hormone that plays a role in many metabolic processes, including muscle building and fat burning.
Less Testosterone = more man boobs.

Less Testosterone means less sex drive. If you are in your mid 30’s and over now – where is your sex drive? A bad diet and booze mean you are likely to offer a limp performance than a strong one. 

It has also been found that low testosterone can cause:
  • high cholesterol
  • high blood pressure
  • high blood sugar levels
  • high body mass index
Plus, lower testosterone levels may affect the quality of sleep and sex drive.

7. Alcohol can negatively affect your sleep

To de-stress many busy professionals will have a wine or beer to relax. And it works. You do feel better.
This is obviously the problem, you are more inclined to do it because it works. It gets you to sleep quicker but on the down the side it stops you from sleeping properly
We all have sleep cycles ranging from light sleep to deep sleep, alcohol reduces that deep sleep.
This is essential for optimal recovery and energy. 
Most don’t get adequate sleep anyway, add booze to it and you reduce it even more. Your 6 hours becomes 4.

Waking up the next day wired, and spending most of the day in a fog. Yes, you are functional, but you are not optimal.


8. Alcohol affects digestion and nutrient uptake

Your social anxiety isn’t the only thing that alcohol inhibits. Intake of alcoholic beverages can also inhibit proper digestive function.
Alcohol can cause stress on the stomach and the intestines. The way you digest food becomes less effective. 
Digestive secretions are an essential element of healthy digestion. They break down food into the basic macro-and micronutrients that are absorbed and used by the body.
Alcohol intake of all levels can lead to impaired digestion and absorption of these nutrients. This can greatly affect the metabolism of organs that play a role in weight management and energy

If your body can’t break food down, it can’t utilize it as energy.  Leaving you far more lethargic throughout the day.

To conclude this article we don’t want to tell you to ‘drink in moderation. That message has been sent – and no one listened.
We’d like to encourage you to drink ALOT less.
You can have more energy, manage your emotions better and be fitter and healthier.
One or 2 drinks a week most of the time is enough. 

With all the extra hours you win back from not drinking, you can be far more effective at life.

Speak Soon
Chris & Rob 


Chris Murray

Chris Murray

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