Alcohol contains only empty calories and has no nutritional value. it can often contribute to malnutrition because high levels of calories in most alcoholic drinks can account for a large percentage of your daily energy requirements. Even one alcoholic drink a day can contribute to malnutrition.
Your body can’t store alcohol, so it must metabolize it straight away. When you drink alcohol, your body makes metabolizing it a priority over all other metabolic processes. Your body sends alcohol to the liver, which produces the enzymes necessary for the oxidation and metabolism of alcohol.
Not only does alcohol not contain any nutrients of its own, but it can impair your body’s natural ability to store nutrients and vitamins from the food you eat.
Alcohol irritates the digestive system – makes the stomach produce more acid which can lead to gastritis, tummy pain, vomiting, diarrhoea, and in heavy drinkers, sometimes bleeding.
In the longer term there is increased risk of cancer, ulcer, acid reflux
The liver is our largest organ and it has 500 different roles. One of the livers most important functions is to break down food and convert it into energy when you need it. Your liver helps the body get rid of waste products and plays a vital role in fighting infections, particularly in the bowel. And yet when your liver is damaged, you generally won’t know about it – until things get serious!
Alcohol is notorious for leading people to overeat because of its physiological effect on appetite and because it is generally consumed in a social setting where food is plentiful.
There’s no place to store alcohol in our bodies the way we do food; therefore the body must use incoming alcohol preferentially as its energy source in order to keep it from reaching toxic levels. This gives alcohol its natural ability to stimulate appetite by depleting the glycogen (carbohydrate) stores in order to metabolize it, causing you to crave carbohydrates.
Alcohol also acts as a diuretic, increasing urination thus decreasing electrolytes like sodium. Again we now begin to crave the things we are losing – hence our desire for salty carbohydrate – like foods ( e.g. chips, crisps, dips, crackers , etc.,).
When you combine alcohol’s natural effects on appetite with its well-known un-inhibiting effects at a destination full of palatable foods, you have hungry people who often end up with no cares about what and how much food they consume.