After observing my body for a while, I’ve noticed that my body acts like it’s on red-alert and under an invasion when I drink excessive alcohol. For one thing, I notice that I can put on extra weight very quickly when I drink alcohol. I’ve often suspected that it’s more weight than could be caused just by the alcohol. It’s almost like my body stops trying to digest the food I’m eating because it’s concentrating 100% on the dealing with the alcohol, and is just quickly storing the energy from the food as fat. This article found on the following link;
supports this hypothesis. There is one particularly pertinent quote in this article;
In the liver, an enzyme similar to gastric ADH metabolizes the alcohol, which is converted to energy by a coenzyme called nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD). NAD is also used to convert the glucose you get from other carbohydrates to energy; while NAD is being used for alcohol, glucose conversion grinds to a halt.
This basically says that while the body is dealing with alcohol, it stops converting glucose to energy. Glucose gets into our bloodstream from the carbohydrates and sugars that we consume and any glucose that is not used by the body is converted into fat cells by the insulin secreted by our pancreas. So this supports my feeling that, when I drink a lot of alcohol (consistently more than 1-2 drinks per hour) I’m effectively causing an alcohol invasion that my body has to muster everything it can to fight and, to avoid being diverted from this fight, it just quickly stores the energy available from food as fat cells.
Another reason why I feel like my body has undergone an alcohol invasion is due to the way I feel the next day. I’m not talking about a hangover, just the feeling of being lethargic and generally weary. It’s as if I’ve been in a hard fight for a few hours and just need to rest now to get over the exertion. In this case, it’s an internal fight within the body, but it’s still a strenuous fight.
Alcohol Invasion and the ways the body tries to detoxify
There’s no doubt that excess alcohol is toxic and the body wants to break it down any way it can, or just get it out of the body any way it can. In the article “Coconut Ketones: A new approach to alcoholism” by Bruce Fife in the Well Being Journal, Nov/Dec 2013, there’s this very interesting paragraph;
When alcohol circulates in the bloodstream, it eventually passes through the liver, where it is broken down into acetaldehyde – a highly toxic substance that is the primary cause of alcohol-induced liver damage. Acetaldehyde is further broken down into acetic acid, which is a normal metabolite in humans and is nontoxic. About 90 of the alcohol consumed is eventually converted into acetic acid. The remaining 10 percent, which is not metabolized, is excreted in the sweat and the urine, and expelled in the person’s breath. The latter provides the basis for the breathalyzer test used in law enforcement and is the reason you can smell alcohol in a persons breath after they have been drinking. The liver has a limited capacity for detoxification and can only metabolize 0.25 ounce of pure alcohol per hour, leaving the remainder to continue circulating throughout the body.”
That’s why a breathalyzer test works! I’d never thought about that. Effectively, the body is trying to detoxify and get the alcohol out, any way it can. The liver is working furiously on breaking down the alcohol and it stops everything else to try and get this job done. At the same time, the body is using the kidneys, skin and lungs to help get rid of some of the alcohol through the urine, sweat and breath.
A Real Alcohol Invasion
All of that seems to be plenty of evidence that body feels like it really is under invasion when we drink too much alcohol. It has to drop everything else and work on getting the alcohol broken down into something nontoxic or just get it out of the body. That doesn’t sound like a very nice thing to do to our bodies.
Even though drinking alcohol is an enjoyable thing to do, and I’ve certainly enjoyed it as much as anybody, this really makes me stop and think. I think I’ll be kind to my body from now on and try and limit my alcohol intake to small doses that won’t stress my body so much.
Also see this post – Too much alcohol??
I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences on this topic. Please leave a comment. Thanks.