The Samahita Blog

Alcohol – Does it Light You Up or Dull Your Shine?

By Rebecca Newell

As I’ve made healthier lifestyle choices over the years, become more aware of my body and honest with myself, alcohol has become less of a light up and more of a dull on my shine. However, I still enjoy a glass or two of good wine with a meal once in a while and I do feel “nourished” by social gatherings that tend to come with a glass or two. Nourished, as long as a glass or two does not become three or four!

Many people knowingly or unknowingly consume too much alcohol, and the effects of too much may silently or loudly echo through our lives, and maybe even the lives around us. As we know, too much alcohol can have traumatic effects in people’s lives and bring about minor and major health concerns.

Some health concerns caused from excess alcohol include:

  • Liver Disease
  • Pancreatitis
  • Brain Damage
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Less energy and vitality
  • Inflammation
  • Worse bouts of premenstrual syndrome
  • Mood fluctuations
  • Increased body fat or cellulite
  • Many more chronic diseases

Just to name a few.

Five Tips to manage alcohol:

  1. Next time you pour a glass of wine, measure how much you pour and compare it to the guidelines above.
  2. When you get home in the evening, instead of reaching for a glass of alcohol, start with a glass of water and a satiating snack such as a handful of macadamia nuts and see if your desire for alcohol decreases.
  3. Add a few more alcohol free days to your life – don’t let alcohol dull your greatness!
  4. Take some time to journal what alcohol truly means to you and get honest with yourself about how it affects you – both while you’re consuming and in the days that follow.
  5. If drinking is linked to a ritual, or a pleasurable activity, such as catching up with your partner at the end of the day – still pour yourself a drink, but try using a wine glass with sparkling water and fresh lime. You may find it’s the activity that pleases you rather than the alcohol.

There are varied reasons as to why we drink. For some it’s to socialize, others like a drink to wind down after a day at work. Many use it to cope, to cover up thoughts and feelings. Then there’s habit and addiction.

It’s time to get honest with ourselves, become aware of the body and ask, is my alcohol consumption lighting me up or dulling me down?

Australia’s heart association recommends for women, no more than 2 standard drinks per day with two alcohol free days per week and for men, no more than 3 standard drinks per day with two alcohol free days per week. A standard drink is 10 grams of alcohol (100 ml /3.38 ounces of wine) (1)
While American’s heart association recommends one drink per day for women and one to two drinks a day for men. A standard drink is 14 grams of alcohol (5 ounces /148ml of wine) in whatever form that comes. (2) If I drank like that every week, for sure there would be no light or shine in me, I would be dull, lethargic, moody and simply not serving my body or life at all.

Did you know the human body cannot excrete alcohol? It has to be converted into acetaldehyde by the liver, and then the acetaldehyde can be excreted.
This is the nasty substance that can give us a headache the day after a big night. If the liver didn’t do its job properly and alcohol accumulated in our blood, we could go into a coma and die. Alcohol is that poisonous. Thankfully the liver jumps into action and starts the conversion process and we carry on.

The trouble is, when we drink regularly, the liver’s main focus becomes alcohol and not other substances that the liver also needs to process for excretion and therefore these get recycled. This can lead to health problems. (3)

Ask yourself, why do I drink? Does it serve me? How much is too much for me, honestly? You know if you’re drinking too much and when it is impacting negatively on your health.

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