Binge drinking is of common occurrence between young adults and new professionals. Binge drinking happens when a person consumes more than five alcoholic drinks on one occasion. Binging is clearly an unhealthy habit which affects our bodies and brains. In the short term, binge drinkers complain about hangovers, lack of sleep, irritability, mood swings, difficulty at work and interpersonal relationships. In the long run, binge drinking can cause liver disease, cancer and memory loss amongst many other associated health problems.
To begin with, binging seems like the most fun thing to do on weekends and party evenings. Binge drinkers can’t seem to stop at just one drink. Even after serious attempts to stop, they just keep wanting more and more till the bottle empty the life out of them. Here are some facts about alcohol that will explain what happens to your body when you binge drink.
What happens to Alcohol when it enters your body?
Alcohol is a relatively simple organic compound that doesn’t need to be digested. In pure form, alcohol in chemical constitution is simpler than glucose. As the drink reaches your stomach, it is directly picked up into the blood stream (by a process much similar to how we absorb oxygen from our lungs). Entering the blood stream, it goes to all bodily tissues including the heart (which may race if the amount of alcohol becomes too high) and the brain (where the buzz is exactly felt). Alcohol does not have a real process of digestion, but is metabolised into acetaldehyde (the dreaded compound that is responsible for hangovers) in the liver. The liver is the organ that takes the most load of alcohol metabolism because every drop of alcohol that you drink is broken down in the liver. Traditionally speaking, alcohol avoids the regular digestive route, but a new research suggests that alcohol can make gut bacteria to leak from the stomach and release harmful toxins into the bloodstream.
Adam and Eve don’t have equal cups of wine.
Keeping aside gender-bias and feudalism which say a man can handle his alcohol and women can’t, the real basis for why men drink more is the way their bodies are designed. Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) is the unit that measures the amount of alcohol in a person’s blood. Men have heavier bodies and higher water content in their tissues that can take in more alcohol than a woman. Women on the other hand are smaller and have less water in their bodies as compared to men. This in other words, means that a woman gets drunk faster than a man on the same amount of alcohol. Imagine what this fact would mean to a binge drinker!
The best way to drink responsibly is by munching on snacks while you drink. It helps the body cope with the physical stress of alcohol consumption. Drinking is fun only when the body is healthy.
If you want to binge, binge on life, not on alcohol!