Diet & Nutrition

Alcohol: The Impact on Metabolic Health and Weight part one

Alcohol: The Impact on Metabolic Health and Weight part one


Enjoying an occasional alcoholic drink (or two) is something that many people choose to incorporate into their lifestyle, and there’s no reason why that can’t continue when on Roczen. That said, its effects on health and weight management are often overlooked. Regularly exceeding the recommended threshold of 14 units per week can negatively impact our health. It’s also important to be aware that drinking 14 units is technically deemed to be a ‘low-risk’ intake as there isn’t a“no-risk” category when it comes to alcohol. As we'll explore in this article, it can also make a health improvement journey much more challenging.

Impact of alcohol on general health:
  • Hydration: Alcohol's diuretic properties lead to increased urination resulting in dehydration that can disrupt metabolic processes. 
  • Blood sugar control: Alcohol also disrupts blood sugar levels by initially causing them to rise and then crash. For individuals on diabetic treatment, better blood sugar control is another advantage of cutting back on alcohol. 
  • Metabolism: Additionally, excessive alcohol consumption can upset electrolyte balance, affecting nerve and muscle function, thereby compromising overall metabolic stability. Moreover, the processing of alcohol is prioritised over other metabolic processes, such as nutrient absorption and the liver's ability to get rid of toxins from our blood efficiently.
  • Blood pressure: Drinking in excess can raise blood pressure levels, increasing the risk of high blood pressure and cardiovascular diseases such as heart attacks and strokes. Monitoring alcohol consumption is crucial for maintaining heart health and reducing cardiovascular risks.
  • Gut Health: Finally, alcohol also has a negative  impact on gut health, whilst reduction or cessation leads to beneficial changes such as restoring gut microbiota balance, reducing inflammation, and enhancing nutrient absorption. These improvements contribute to better digestive function and overall well-being, emphasising the importance of mindful drinking for optimal health.
Impact on Mood, Motivation, Relationships and Food Choices:
  • Energy levels: Alcohol can leave you feeling drained and fatigued. Moderating or completely omitting alcohol typically increases energy, promoting a healthier lifestyle overall.
  • Mood and motivation: This increased energy also has a positive effect on mood and motivation - both of which contribute towards a greater incentive for physical activities and exercise, enhancing emotional well-being and overall mental health
  • Food choices: Cravings for energy-dense foods can improve once you cut back too, facilitating the maintenance of a balanced diet, and making fasting more manageable by reducing urges to consume excessive calories or unhealthy snacks
  • Sleep: Alcohol can affect  your natural sleep cycle and the natural stages of sleep. By eliminating or decreasing alcohol, you can experience a deeper, more restorative sleep. 
  • Erectile Dysfunction: On the subject of sleep it would be unwise to not touch on the subject of relationships - in particular intimate ones. Alcohol can contribute to erectile dysfunction due to disruptions in hormone levels, nerve function, and blood flow- another key reason to reduce it. 
Potential Impact on Fasting and Your Roczen Health Journey

When fasting, the idea is to give your body a break from digesting food and let it burn through stored energy instead. Alcohol, however, can throw a wrench into that plan. Even though alcohol doesn't contain any nutrients, it still packs a punch of empty calories. For instance, a beer can contain around 200 calories, and a glass of wine can have over 100 calories. Those calories give your body energy, essentially "feeding" it and breaking your fast. Your body will then shift from burning stored fat to metabolising the alcohol and calories you just consumed. So, while you may not be eating solid food, those liquid calories from alcohol can disrupt the fasting process and compromise the potential benefits. you would have gained. Therefore, it is strongly advised against drinking alcohol whilst you are on your Roczen Plan. 

Take home message: 

While many of us enjoy an occasional drink here and there, the effects of alcohol on health, including weight management, should not be overlooked. By cutting back on alcohol, you'll not only optimise your physical health but also enhance your mental clarity and emotional well-being, aligning perfectly with your Roczen journey's goals. Look out for our next article, where we'll share helpful tips and strategies to support you on this path towards holistic wellness. Together, let's toast to a healthier, happier you with Roczen.

August 31, 2023
Written by
Laura Donaldson
Reviewed by
Robbie Green

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