As we’ve all heard, a moderate consumption of alcohol may provide a few health benefits such as a reduced risk of developing heart disease, stroke or gallstone. But here is the rub. What is the definition of moderate drinking? Well, if you’re a woman, one drink a day. If you’re a man, two drinks a day. Now, what’s considered one drink? No, it’s not the entire bottle of chardonnay, tequila or any of your other favorite “adult” beverage. It’s 12 ounces of beer, five ounces of wine or a shot of 80-proof “hard liquor” (e.g. gin, rum, tequila, vodka or whiskey).
What’s the calorie content of these and some other of your favorites?
Budlight Bottle (12 oz.) = 110 calories
Budweiser Bottle (12 oz.) = 146 calories
Shot of 80 proof liquor (1.5 oz) = 97 calories
Shot of 100 proof liquor (1.5 oz.) = 124 calories
Merlot (5 oz.) = 123 calories
Chardonnay (5 oz.) = 109 calories
Champagne (6.5 oz.) = 91 calories
Rocks = 200 calories
Frozen (12 oz.) = 500 – 800 calories (depending on ingredients)
It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that too much drinking and exercise don’t mix. But here’s why.
Drinking alcohol can cause muscle inflammation, reduce your strength and interfere with your recovery due to the decrease in blood testosterone levels.
It can also create an environment in the body (by spiking insulin levels) that causes excess fat storage and actually break down muscle tissue.
Drinking lowers our inhibitions. Not always a good thing. “Beer Goggles” aren’t just dangerous when choosing someone off the dance floor! They also distort your choices when looking at a menu. Studies have shown that diners tend to eat more and order fattier foods when drinking alcohol is involved.
Since alcohol is a diuretic, it causes water loss and dehydration, causing important minerals to leave the body.
It contains seven calories per gram and offers ZERO nutritional value.
While alcohol may help one fall asleep, the sleep isn’t very deep. Therefore, you are less rested after a night out on the town or in…under the covers :)!
Alcohol increases stomach acid and can cause a swelling of the stomach lining; more commonly known as a “beer belly”. And this, my friends, is not just a cosmetic problem! Abdominal fat increases the risk for cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure.
So the next time you’re at the bar, restaurant or in front of the fridge, remember that your choice of drink may have more adverse effects than originally thought.