What Happens When You Stop Drinking Alcohol?
I can speak from experience when I say, quitting, or at least slowing down on alcohol consumption can be extremely difficult. This article isn’t here to change or judge you in anyway. It is simply here to present facts that I’ve personally experienced when I stopped drinking alcohol as well as share nutritional knowledge that I’ve gained throughout years of wellness studies.
The truth is, alcohol has become a part of our society. For a lot of us, it is how we unwind and relax from a stressful day at work as well as socialize with our peers when we are looking for a way to get our minds distracted from daily responsibilities. But, if you are in a period of your life where you are looking to achieve weight loss or improve body composition, stopping alcohol consumption, at least for a short period of time, has several benefits.
Improved recovery, sleep and physical performance. One recent study in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research found drinking before bed increases alpha wave patterns in the brain—a kind of cerebral activity that usually occurs when you’re awake but resting. The result? Disrupted sleep, which ultimately means lack of physical and mental recovery which is a hindrance to your performance in the gym the following day as well as mental performance on the job.
Body Composition Improvements. DUH! Alcohol not only increases sugar cravings but your body treats alcohol as a poison so once alcohol is discovered inside of it, your brain communicates to stop prioritizing digestion and begin elimination of the found toxin. The night after drinking, you may notice the weight on the scale will go down due to dehydration. This will tempt you to keep drinking alcohol but the truth is for the next 2-3 days, you will notice a “rebound effect” occur once fluids have returned to the body and digestion has begun again without said toxin. This can really mentally and emotionally manipulate someone that struggles with weight loss and can motivate someone to participate in fad diets and random product consumptions that can cause much further damage down the road.
Chances at disease goes down while hormonal health stabilizes. According to the National Cancer Institute, alcohol use has been linked to an increased risk for cancers of the mouth, liver, colon, and rectum. That risk increases the more you drink. On the hormonal side of things, consistent alcohol consumption has been shown to decrease testosterone, the main sex hormone in males that the body uses to hold and build lean muscle tissue. As a result of this, metabolic rate declines which is not optimal for weight loss in men or in women.
At the end of the day, living a healthy life is all about long-term adherence. You have to discover the appropriate balance for your lifestyle. By not drinking alcohol, yes, there are substantial benefits but it might not be realistic for you. Track your calories AND your macronutrients (that means alcohol as well), and remember, just because your goal is weight loss, it doesn’t mean you have to stop drinking alcohol forever. But, it’s always important to be truthful to yourself and realize that by over doing anything will probably not lead you to the results you are truly desiring.
"Coach Taz" aka Taylor Rodriguez is owner and head coach of Taz Fitness & Nutrition. He is a Personal Trainer & Nutrition Coach located in Deltona, FL that coaches individuals online and in person. Taylor was a former partying pro wrestler turned fitness enthusiast after the economic downturn of 2008-2010. After losing almost 70 lbs, his new passion is to help struggling individuals find a new confidence within themselves to achieve any goal that they see possible. To begin coaching with Taylor or to request a free consultation, contact us today.
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