The consumption of alcohol has become an established component of most social meetings. In 2014, the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism found that 56.9 percent of individuals 18 or older reported that they had drank within at least the past month. 24.7 percent of those individuals also said that they engaged in binge drinking during the same period.
Alcohol is one of the most consumed drugs within the United States because of its sedative and social encouragement properties. Alcohol consumption has been a vital aspect of many traditions within the United States and serves a valid purpose. However, the intake of large amounts of alcohol can have serious impacts within the human body.
Because alcohol is a toxin that the body is unfamiliar with, weight loss and the use of weight compounding macronutrients within the body for energy are stalled until the alcohol has been burned off. If alcohol is consumed during a diet phase, this can cause progress to be hindered, at least until the alcohol has been burned off. In low carbohydrate diets, such as Atkins, ketosis will resume as soon as the alcohol is eliminated from the body.
Alcohol delivers empty calories because of its lack of nutritional value while loosening the inhibitions of the consumer. More often than not, a night of drinking can lead to poor food choices that can completely derail a diet or progress that has already been made. Not only are participants getting the empty calories from alcohol consumption, they are also compounding poor food choices on top of them.
Perhaps the most detrimental effect alcohol has is found within several vital organs within the human body. Alcohol can cause irritation within the stomach, which in turn will hinder metabolism and weight loss. This is due to the effect it has on digestion processes. When alcohol is consumed the liver has to work to detoxify the body. Over time the damage caused by alcohol consumption can compound and cause liver and kidney damage.