Alcohol is a go-to drink when being used in social situations, to relax, or because it tastes good. Drinking in moderation is very important for your mental and physical health. A lot of people aren’t even aware that drinking in moderation refers to no more than one drink a day if you’re a woman and no more than two a day for men. Consuming more than recommended can lead to impaired coordination and judgment, memory problems, and slow reflexes. The more you drink, the more problematic these symptoms become. When you drink, a significant portion of the alcohol is absorbed into your bloodstream, and then it is distributed through basically every tissue of your body.
The brain, stomach, and liver are highly impacted by alcohol. Alcohol affects the brain by altering levels of GABA and dopamine which are neurotransmitters that are part of the brain’s reward system. If you have too much of either of these neurotransmitters, it can lead to everything from increased heart rate, to aggression and depression. When alcohol hits your stomach, it makes an excessive amount of acid, which can contribute to a variety of conditions like irritation and inflammation of the stomach lining. On the other hand, the liver is where alcohol is processed and metabolized, and when you drink excessively, it causes your liver to accumulate fat, which can lead to a serious condition called fatty liver disease.
Furthermore, alcohol has high amounts of calories that lead to weight gain and difficulty of weight loss later on. Tasty drinks can also be packed with sugar that can slow down the metabolism and turn into fat that will be stored in the body. These calories consumed from alcohol drinks are “empty” calories which simply means they contain no nutritional value to the body. Alcohol is also an appetite stimulant, so you may be more likely to eat more and also make poorer food choices if you’re drinking. Drinking too much, or binge drinking is an unhealthy option overall.