#FitnessFacts: ALCOHOL

-Excess amounts of alcohol can definitely be hazardous to the health & well being of the consumer, but in moderate amounts alcohol can be beneficial!

-Moderation with alcohol is defined as no more than 2 drinks a day for men and 1 drink a day for women. One drink can be a beer, 6 fl oz of wine, or shot of liquor.

-Moderate drinkers tend to love longer than people who don't drink at all or those who drink in excess.

-Low amounts of alcohol can increase levels of good cholesterol (HDL) and lower levels of bad cholesterol (LDL).

-Alcohol acts as a light blood thinner, like aspirin. So when consumed in moderation, it can reduce the likelihood of developing blood clots & coronary heart disease.

-If your goal is to gain muscle, don't drink alcohol immediately pre or post-workout since it causes a drop in testosterone levels while increasing cortisol, a hormone that can destroy muscle.

-When it comes to alcohol & weight loss, moderate drinking should be cut back to no more than 1-3 drinks/week. Not only does alcohol contain calories (7 calories per gram- that's more than protein or carbs), but because it takes longer to metabolize in the body than other substances it can slow the metabolism down, leading to weight gain.

-The best way to minimize caloric intake in alcoholic drinks is to either drink the liquor straight, or mix it with watered down fruit juice or zero calorie mixers like tonic or club soda.

-To prevent the damaging effects alcohol can have on your body (especially to your liver) drink 1 glass of water for every drink you drank. Especially if you drank close to bedtime! The digestive process slows down during sleep so diluting the alcohol will minimize it's damage, as well as make for a less intense hangover ;)

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