How does alcohol affect your health and wellbeing?
Have you ever wondered exactly what alcohol does to your health and what the implications are of drinking too much long term?
The process of metabolising alcohol via the liver requires a number of essential nutrients. As the liver uses up its supply of these nutrients, the blood stream is called upon to replenish the supply. As a result, other cells in your body are deprived of these critical nutrients and normal body functions suffer.
Essential Vitamins & Nutrients
These vitamins and nutrients are essential to mental and emotional wellbeing.
The B-complex vitamins are particularly impacted by excessive alcohol consumption. Deficiencies in many of the B -Vitamins (b1, b2, b3, b12) have been clinically shown to cause depression. Other significant impacts of vitamin B deficiency are anxiety, fatigue, and neurological issues such as memory loss and confusion.
Deficiencies of other nutrients can also contribute to the negative feelings that frequently lead susceptible individuals toward another alcoholic beverage. These include: Vitamin C, Magnesium, Calcium, Zinc, Iron, Manganese, Potassium and Chromium, Omega 3 EFA.
As you can see, the list is very comprehensive.
What can you do to replenish your body and ensure that you have enough of all the essential vitamins and nutrients required for optimal health and performance?
- Give your liver a break. Either abstain from alcohol of a period of time (dry July) or an alternative strategy is to set limits – having 4 alcohol free days in a row (so your liver gets a break) then a maximum of 2 standard drinks on the other 3 days.
- Eat a healthy diet - including 7 serves of vegetables and 2 fruits per day (opt for as many different colours as you can) and include a moderate amount of lean protein and healthy fats each day. Stay away from highly processed or junk foods.
- Drink adequate water – 2 litres per day is recommended for adults, more if you are doing a high level of exercise.
- Avoid excessive amounts of caffeine.
- Including good quality supplements for a period of time can also be extremely beneficial for those that have nutrient deficiencies. Seeking advice from a qualified practitioner can help you assess your options, and ensure you choose a suitable and high quality product.
This article was written by Tamara Madden, a qualified nutritionist.
To help achieve your best performance, Tamara has created a range of 7 day meal plans for runners.
They are designed to provide you with the optimal nutrition to support your training.
To learn more and download a 2 day sneak peak menu click here
She offers private telehealth appointments that can be booked via her website www.madonnutrition.com.au