I am currently in Wellington for a beer getaway from Sydney and being only 3 hours across the ditch its a perfect getaway. While on the plane I saw this interesting documentary that raised my curiosity ‘Binge Drinking vs Moderation’.
The premise of this documentary was where a set of twins (aged 36) both abstained from alcohol for 4 weeks prior to this experiment then 1 drank 3 standard drinks per night, while the other drank 21 standard drinks once a week. So we have the Moderate vs Binge model. So you don’t have to watch the 50 minute video I’ll provide the findings.
Key Documentary Findings
- Non-Drinking for 4 weeks provided soft liver (healthy) for both parties
- Night after Binge drinking body is not more dehydrated than moderate drinker
- Hangover is more about body fighting infection from particles from the gut, similar to before we get sick
- Ethanol in alcohol is what makes our body relax and happier
- Overall No Method is better than the other, both parties had same liver damage at end of the 4 weeks of study
Thoughts on Alcohol on Liver
Ultimately in our society Wine, Liquor and Beer are all going to be harmful on our systems, but for anyone reading this shitty blog post it is our legal drug of choice. I think beer is more harmful for weight gain than that of wine, and I don’t tend to drink much in the way of spirits, but can vouch for spirits/mixed drinks the preferred choice for weight watchers or in any effort to lose weight.
The liver functionality is vital for all our health, and without a healthy liver we can expect to get Cirrhosis which is a scar tissue damage to the liver. Most of us don’t think about our health in our 20’s but by our 30’s our hangovers take longer and more health issues arise. By our 40’s we realise we can’t drink every night, and those nights when we push it too far with extra bottles of wine, or more beer, we feel it for days afterwards.
What is the answer to being healthier while still drinking high strength beers, wine and mixed drinks ? I hate to sound like Oprah but its down to moderation and exercise but there are some key tips I follow to leave a healthier life.
Vegetable & Fruit Juice
Buy a Cold Press juicer and make it your routine to juice the colored vegetables. Cold Press are better than conventional juices as they grind out everything in the product, so parsley/coriander/mint for example will generate green juice. These juicers costs $100-300 on Ebay, but you can spend up to $2000 on them. Beets, Carrot, Celery, Ginger, Apple is a great combination and you will find it so sweet, and reduces your sugar cravings.
Do Diets Work ?
NO, but they can assist in kickstarting your crap diet from fried foods towards veggies and asian style dishes. Here is what I have used/tried to reduce weight gain, feel healthier, reduce alcohol.
Involves Shakes that are food replacements, and this definitely kick started my weight loss, and was able to keep off the excess fat. This was useful in a short term 1-3 months program that helped me view how much weight I could lose around the stomach. Beware it’s kind of ‘Pyramid’ in that your “Sponsor” attains commission points every time you buy. They try and claim you can earn a living selling this magic powder to friends/colleagues etc. I can vouch it worked for me, but now I only use the shakes for morning breakfasts on my health weeks.
This was worth trying as it had an app and useful website to assist in counting (Points). Works on the principle that say I’m 100kg I’m allotted 45 points a day. Latte = 2 points, Black Coffee = 0 points, Steak = 8-12 points, Imperial Stout = 12 Points. In my case I love Imperial IPA & Stout. I could quite easily hit 48 points from 4 beers in 1 session, which equates to a lot more calories and alcohol consumption.
If you get the drift here, it’s quite simple, your honest with your intake and you add the points. Lets say you take a 40-60 minute run/walk that gains you 10-15 Points. The idea is great in that it puts the onus on food back on you, and you can eat whatever you want, but you need to be aware of your points each day, and if you have bonus by the weekend you can blow it on Double Deep Fried Pizza if you wish.
Beer vs Wine – Better or Worse ?
I found I gained more weight in the first few years discovering ‘CRAFT’ beer due to wanting to try and more styles and varieties of beer and for the simple fact of quantities. Beer is more bloating on the stomach/gut and its obvious in any beer festival when you walk through a crowd and get ‘crop sprayed’ it’s not just yourself who is struggling with it.
Wine I find is less bloating and due to higher alcohol (12-15%) a few glasses take their effect and you don’t need a lot. Having a full bottle a night is quite excessive, but with partner likely half bottle each is enough. I find during the week now I’m drinking wine instead of beer. I do have a bias with wine as I have grown up with the industry.
Food does play a factor in being in bars, as fried food & pizza are common attributes of beer bars. In the US/Canada there must only be 3 bars without Wing Night specials, or pizza options. We don’t end the night wanting a Salad, we want something that fills us up. At 2am it’s quite hard to make healthy choices.