If your online grocery carts have extra wine bottles in 2020, you are not alone.
In September 2020, Prof. a study Conducted by the RAND Corporation, it found that overall drinking rose 14 percent for Americans in the past year, due in large part to the stress associated with the pandemic.
Of particular concern was the increase in “binge drinking” – having five or more drinks within two hours for men, or four or more drinks within two hours for women.
Women, in particular, experienced a 41 percent increase in heavy drinking days.
While alcohol may temporarily relieve stress about work, health, finances, and relationships, it is not without consequences.
So what does alcohol do to your body?
Every drink has an effect, says PsyD, a specialist in clinical social work and addiction expert at Ambrosia treatment center In Florida.
“Alcohol of any size will affect every organ system and affect the natural processes of the human body,” says Reichbach.
Yes, there’s more than just your liver – here’s how alcohol affects your body from head to toe.
Do you think that night wine helps you sleep?
While alcohol may initially help relax your busy mind and make you sleepy, it does not provide the restorative sleep needed for optimal health, Reichbach says.
Research indicates Alcohol reduces the overall amount of REM sleep, which is thought to play an important role in REM sleep Learning and memory.
Alcohol may also make it difficult for your partner to fall asleep. a Study 2020 He found a positive association between alcohol intake and the severity of snoring.
Additionally, research indicates that alcohol consumption may be associated with: Increased risk of developing sleep apnea.
“An increased risk of developing sleep apnea, which reduces oxygen levels in the brain, can also affect cognition, memory and mood,” he says. S. Monty Josh, M.D., addiction specialist who specializes in alcohol use disorder.
Alcohol can sometimes act as a diureticThis causes your body to remove fluids from your body faster than if you would drink other beverages.
It can cause dehydration Dizziness, dry mouth, and fatigue – In addition to that, it may contain a file Negative effect on your next workout.
3. Skin health
Alcohol can also pull moisture from your skin. “This can make wrinkles and fine lines appear more visible,” he says Ann Ramark, Dietitian and Founder of A Younger Skin.
Consuming large amounts of alcohol may also lead to A. Negative effect on collagen productionIt is a protein that supports skin elasticity.
4. Weight gain
Alcohol containsFree from calories, Which may increase your risk of being overweight.
Research indicates Heavy alcohol use in particular may be linked to weight gain.
It might also be alcohol Stimulates the appetite, And the Weight gain associated with alcohol It may also come from the types of foods eaten when drinking – and the fact that you likely don’t monitor portion sizes closely when eating them.
alcohol Stimulates the stomach to produce more acids. It can also weaken the barrier between the stomach and esophagus, allowing acid to work its way through – which, in turn, can cause irritation. Gastroesophageal refluxOr even an ulcer.
Diarrhea It can also be a side effect of alcohol consumption.
The ethanol in alcohol speeds up digestion, which means the colon has less time to absorb water before taking things out of the other end.
6. Sexual and reproductive health
Sleeping isn’t the only thing alcohol can bother you in the bedroom.
While the cocktail may reduce inhibitions, it can also have an effect on your body Perform under the hood – This is true for both men And the a woman.
And if you’re trying for a baby, you may want to skip this type of sangria, she recommends David Diaz, MD, a reproductive endocrinologist at Memorial Care Orange Coast Medical Center in Fountain Valley, California.
Regular consumption of a large amount of alcohol can lead to a hormonal imbalance that may occur Affects the reproductive system.
7. Heart health
Research suggests that moderate consumption of red wine may contain some Benefits for heart health.
However, it is unclear if these benefits come from wine consumption or other factors.
The American Heart Association Notes: “Moderate wine may be more likely to be drunk with a healthier diet and lifestyle – including physical activity and lots of fruits and vegetables.”
And a recent study Published in the European Heart Journal It was found that consuming only 1.2 drinks per day – which amounts to 14 ounces of beer or 5 ounces of wine – was linked to an increased risk of developing atrial fibrillation, a condition that causes a fast or irregular heartbeat.
There is no clear evidence that alcohol supports heart health, and there may be some potential risks – so moderation is key.
8. Cognitive function
Slurred speech, slow reaction speed, and blurred vision make it clear that a night of drinking can affect your mind.
But chronic heavy alcohol use may have greater effects on the brain.
“Alcohol has effects on the reward system in the brain that is thought to underlie cravings and compulsions to use alcohol despite the increasingly negative consequences of alcoholism,” he says. Christine Arthur, MD, internist at Memorial Care Medical Group in Laguna Woods, California.
Arthur adds, “Later in life, chronic alcohol use can damage the brain and increase the risk of memory and cognitive problems, including dementia.”
Excessive alcohol use may also be linked to mental health problems such as: depressionAnd the Anxiety, And the Insomnia.
9. Bone health
according to National Institute of Health, Chronic heavy alcohol use can “significantly damage bone quality and increase the risk of osteoporosis” – especially among young people.
Chronic alcohol consumption is associated with: Vitamin D deficiency and decreased calcium absorptionBoth can affect bone health.
10. Perform the exercise
Alcohol can also affect your earnings. It may result in excessive drinking It hinders your athletic performance during exercise.
In a study of Australian athletes, researchers found that drinking after strength training may occur Reducing muscle protein synthesis by 37 percent.
Not sure if you drink a lot?
Evaluate your consumption with an online screening questionnaire, like the one at Alcohol check or Choice and choices.
(And if you’re trying to limit your consumption, try A. Mocktail To have the same flavors – without the alcohol.)