Unfortunately in Australia we have a pretty big focus on drinking, and let’s face it, who doesn’t like a nice cold beer or glass of wine in the Australian Summer! However, not only are there sufficient risks associated with excessive drinking such as the development of liver disease, pancreatitis, nutrient mal-absorption and so on, the consumption of alcohol can provide a sufficient amount of unusable energy to the diet…
To give you an idea:
285mL glass of full strength beer: 440KJ
160mL glass of wine: 500KJ
I’m not sure about you, but I certainly know people who will consume several drinks in one sitting. Let’s just say for example, that you were to have 6 x 285mL glasses of beer on a given night, this equates to 2,640KJ, which is equivalent to ~ 5 pieces of multigrain bread (in terms of energy alone).
However, unlike what you would be gaining from the bread such as B vitamins and carbohydrates (which can help to fuel your exercise), alcohol is devoid of nutrients, and what’s more it may affect your bodies ability to repair and heal and synthesize muscle, as well as it’s ability to produce energy (ATP).
Alcohol is also a potent diuretic, and therefore may lead to dehydration, impairing your bodies ability to transport nutrients, couple this with the dehydration that may occur from exercise and you’re really not doing your body any favours.
So, next time you decide to drink, have a think about not only your health, but your goals and priorities. Hint: Break up your drinking by consuming a glass of water or soda water between each alcoholic drink, or better still, decide not to drink and stick to the water, your body will thank you for it!
Note: the recommendations for alcohol consumption in Australia are no more than one standard drink per day for women and no more than two for men (NO this cannot be added up over the week to consume on the weekend).
For more information please refer to the following sources: