Are you aware of how alcohol metabolizes in the body?
Depending on how much you drink, alcohol can live in your system for 12-130 hours.
For some people, their stomach enzymes called alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) break down alcohol. These enzymes help divert some of the alcohol from going into your bloodstream, however, not everyone has these enzymes.
Knowing how your specific body absorbs alcohol is important when you drink as it can affect your organs in a different way than others.
According to the Cleveland Clinic, one standard drink is about 14 grams of ethanol (alcohol), the amount found in:
12 ounces of regular beer with 5% ethanol (about one can of beer).
5 ounces of wine with 12% ethanol (about one glass of wine).
1.5 ounces of distilled spirits (80 proof) with 40% ethanol (about one shot).
After you start drinking, alcohol takes around 60 to 90 minutes to reach peak levels in the blood. Then, the body begins breaking it down.
The stomach and liver play an important role when it comes to alcohol metabolism.
Once alcohol is digested, roughly 90% is transported to the liver for processing. The remaining 10% remains in systemic circulation affecting your skin, lungs, and kidneys.
The liver is also responsible for blood sugar circulation by storing and creating glucose through the process, glycogenolysis.
Alcohol use can either spike or lower blood sugar levels. When initially drinking, your blood sugar levels may drop because you’re stopping the liver’s ability to release glucose from its storage or create more, however it will eventually spike based on the type of alcohol consumed.
Sugary cocktails, sweet wines and beer will spike your blood sugar. While some may have no blood sugar spikes to simple liquors low in sugar, we have seen clients with blood sugar spikes for all alcohol use, even when consuming low sugar drinks.
It is no surprise alcohol has an enormous impact on our bodies. When over-consumed, health issues arise such as:
Delays in digestion
Blood sugar spikes
Decreased absorption of nutrients
Instead of telling you to never drink, we’ve included suggestions on how to drink responsibly and better for your body.
STICK TO CELEBRATORY DRINKS ONLY. Save your alcohol intake for celebrations or for the weekend only. It allows you to look forward to enjoying your drink and avoids making it a regular habit.
SET YOUR DRINK MAX. Maintain a “two drinks max mentality” when celebrating. Hold yourself accountable by knowing exactly how much you plan to consume.
CHOOSE BOOZE WISELY. Opt for alcohol that has the least amount of acidity and sugar. We recommend gin that’s low in acidity and tequila for minimal sugar.
AVOID MIXERS. Keep your cocktail simple with no sweet mixers or added sugars. We recommend club soda and fresh lime juice as an easy mixer for your cocktail.
HYDRATE: (water) before, in between, and after drinking. This will help you avoid dehydration, and hangovers and slow your alcohol intake.
MINERALIZE: Nutrients are not properly absorbed when drinking. We recommend a mineral supplement post-drinking to allow nutrients back into the body. Try Alkamind with water 30 minutes before you go to sleep.
Looking for a clean cocktail to enjoy at your next celebration? Read up on my drink of choice HERE.