When we think about how alcohol affects our body, we immediately think of a nasty hangover. However, alcohol can impact our nutrition as well.
Alcohol offers little to no nutritional value. In fact, most ingredients in alcoholic beverages are non-essential, meaning our bodies don’t need them to function.
Your body treats alcohol like a toxin. This means your body will try to remove the alcohol from your system before it does anything else. As a result, non-essential nutrients in alcohol start to replace essential nutrients from your food. When this happens, your body loses out on important proteins, amino acids, vitamins and minerals. In extreme cases, drinking too much or too often can lead to malnutrition.
This can also impact your metabolism and your body’s ability to burn fat, which can lead to weight gain. Drinking on an empty stomach to compensate for the calories in alcohol can intensify its effects.
These nutrition deficiencies can also impact your mental and emotional wellbeing. Excessive alcohol use can greatly lower the B vitamins in your body, which play an important role in preventing anxiety, depression and fatigue.
So what can you do? Try drinking in moderation to limit the number of empty calories and non-essential nutrients you consume.