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Amsterdam Amstel
13-09-2016 / 11:00

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how alcohol affects your body

How is alcohol made?
Alcohol is produced from fermentation or fermentation from carbohydrates. Wine is made from fruit juice and beer from grain starch. Extra alcohol is added to port or sherry. Whiskey and gin are made by distillation. The alcohol is concentrated during heating.

How many kcal?
Alcohol contains 7 kcal per gram. That is almost twice as much as carbohydrates (4 kcal) and slightly less than fats (9 kcal). The total amount of kcal you consume is also related to the amount of sugar that an alcohol product contains. For example, a breezer already contains 180 kcal, unlike a glass of vodka, which contains 80 kcal.

Per portion
Each drink has its own glass. A standard beer glass is 250 ml, wine 100 ml and spirits 35 ml. Due to this portioning, each glass contains the same amount of alcohol. However, this obviously does not apply to the amount of kcal per glass. For example, a beer quickly contains 110 kcal, a glass of wine 80-120 kcal and a strong drink between 60 and 80 kcal.

Alcohol and energy balance
As long as the total energy intake is in balance with your energy consumption, body weight will remain constant. But when the intake increases, your body stores the extra kcal as fat. Regardless of whether these are alcohol, fat, protein or carbohydrates.

It is also possible that you experience more appetite at the moment or the day after, after having consumed a little too much.

Effects of alcohol
The consequences of alcohol are dehydration, numb brain and nerve cells and vasodilation. The consumption of alcohol can also have an effect on how you feel and perform. Listed below are the most important: 

  • You have less energy. Your body needs sugars to break down alcohol. This leaves less sugars for your muscles.
  • Your sleep quality decreases. As a result, your body can recover less well and you often also have more muscle pain when you have been exercising and going out on the same day.
  • Your muscles become acidic faster and / or longer. You go into acidification faster after a night out. Your liver breaks down lactic acid, but this is less successful.
  • Your stamina decreases. Lung ventilation decreases and with a higher dose of alcohol, the pumping power of the heart also decreases.

Alcohol consumption of maximum one glass per day is the advice for both women and men. One glass seems to reduce the risk of chronic diseases, but at the same time increases the risk of breast cancer. Drinking more than one glass promotes negative health effects, such as stroke risk, breast cancer, colon cancer and lung cancer. Thus, the positive effects do not outweigh the negative effects of health.

Binge drinking, such as drinking seven glasses on the weekend instead of a maximum of one glass divided over the week, shows a correlation of 45% higher risk of heart disease.

Drink less
Do you want to drink less? Or maybe even (temporarily) stop? Schedule a coaching session with one of our coaches to discuss this. A great tool for this is changing behaviour. It can also work well to fill in a food diary, so that you can keep track of when and how much you drink