Although alcohol does not contain any fat itself, it is filled with calories. There’s a reason why a beer belly is named as such, and this is it. Alcohol is a source of “empty calories” because it has no nutritional value, but it sure has the calories. And calories from alcohol tend to be stored directly in the gut, causing increased body fat in the last place we’d ever want it!
One beer every night adds 1,036 additional calories per week, or 15 pounds to your stomach per year. While at the time it might just seem like one casual beer, its effects really add up.
In addition to the high caloric intake, there are several other negative affects of drinking alcohol on the body.
Here are just a few:
- According to recent medical studies, alcohol consumption causes the body to cease the maintaining of healthy blood glucose levels. Over time, excessive alcohol consumption can decrease insulin’s effectiveness, resulting in high and often, unhealthy, blood sugar levels.
- A further study revealed at the American College of Gastroenterology showed that just one drink per day for women, or two for men, could lead to small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, which causes bloating, gas, abdominal pain, constipation, and diarrhea.
Scientists have found that this bacterial overgrowth influences metabolism and weight. How? The different types of bacteria found within our intestines function together to affect how many calories we extract from our food and whether we make or burn fat—two key factors in establishing a healthy weight. So, drinking alcohol can throw off the body’s natural balance and ability to metabolize food properly.
If those aren’t enough reasons to make you think twice about having a casual drink, don’t forget the calorie content. One glass of wine, whether red or white, packs in around 120 calories; and with about four glasses of wine per bottle, that brings a bottle’s calorie total to around 480 calories, nearly as many as in a Big Mac!
Mark Sisson from Marks Daily Apple did a great job breaking down the question: Is alcohol good for you? The response can be found here.