beerIt’s been a long day, and you really just want to get home and crack open a cold one. It seems a cold drink after a long day is always the perfect cure. But do you ever wonder: is it REALLY helping? Sure, we all know the short-term effects of too much alcohol. In fact, you may still be recovering from last weekend. However, the long-term effects of too much alcohol are even scarier. Yes, there are benefits to alcohol and consumption in moderation. But what is the correlation between alcohol and your body?

 

Brain Damage

You know how sometimes, after a night of drinking, you can’t really remember what happened? It’s a scary feeling! It happens because alcohol can actually deplete your brain cells that support memory. Too much alcohol over time can make this a regular thing. It can cause permanent brain damage. “Middle-aged men who drink heavily show declines in memory, attention and reasoning skills up to six years sooner than those drinking less alcohol, new research suggests,” says WebMD. Drinking heavily was defined at 2.5 drinks per day.

 

Liver Damage

The liver function in your body is to cleanse out toxins in the things that are ingested. Too much toxicity in the food or beverage, well, your liver works overtime and can sometimes just give up entirely. This is called liver failure, and many people who over-drink suffer. Now, liver failure typically only occurs  when someone has had too much to drink most of their life! So consuming a drink or two a week won’t cause this. But overdoing it… that’s a different story.

 

Bone Damage

Our muscles and bones need calcium in order to fully heal and stay strong. Alcohol works as a barrier between the bones and calcium production/absorption. Alcoholics often have a bone mass that’s 50 percent decreased compared to normal bone mass levels.  If you exercise or are known to have frail bones or muscles, alcohol can make recovery or simple day-to-day tasks unbearably hard!

 

Weight Gain

How do we make alcohol taste good (to non-woodsmen)? SUGAR. Those fancy, fruity drinks are sugary and full of calories. They can ruin anyone’s diet. But most people don’t think of that because, hey, it’s just a liquid drink, right? This infographic illustrates how the empty calories in alcohol add up fast when you consider alcohol has nearly as many calories per gram as pure fat.  Did you know that the average wine drinker consumes 2,000 extra calories per month.  That is the same as 141 ice cream cones per year.

 

Alcohol and your body? Up to you!

All in all, anything in moderation is okay. Alcohol and your body will always have a unique relationship, and that is also okay. Just be sure to not over do it and to try to choose water whenever you can. It’s easy to have fun without alcohol! Well, maybe not easy, but it’s possible.

 

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