5 Critical Ways Alcohol Can Affect You Long Term
It has become commonplace to drink at social gatherings, sporting events; in fact, it’s been like that throughout history. It’s more or less a pastime, and many people look forward to getting together and having a drink, a glass of wine, a shot, or two; it’s just an activity for many people from across the world.
When you drink in moderation, it can be fun, and it doesn’t appear to inhibit you too much, but if you continue to indulge in excess, it can become a problem. Let’s take a look at some of the potential side effects of overconsumption of alcohol. To quickly make a couple of points, your mood, energy, and judgment can be impaired.
Consumption Can Lead To Depression
Did you know that alcohol is considered a depressant? I know many people think of it as a “picker-upper,” but it’s the opposite. It reduces the arousal in your central nervous system. The trick is that it can initially enhance your overall mood, but over time, it continues to wear you down until it leads to depression. The more you drink, the more it depletes chemicals in your brain that lead to depression.
So what’s the bottom line? The more you drink, the more depressed you’ll be over overtime. You’re going to start feeling less active, your mood will diminish, and it will zap your energy.
Energy Levels Depleted
Let’s take a look at how alcohol zaps your energy. What happens first is that it increase your blood sugar. When insulin is released into your bloodstream, you’ll start to get a feeling of weakness, as it’s happening too quickly. When you drink alcohol in abundance, you ask your kidneys to flush the alcohol out of your body. You’ll notice an increase in the frequency of urination.
This will then lead to you being dehydrated, and as we know, dehydration leads to a depletion of your energy levels. As you urinate more frequently, you’re getting rid of essential minerals and nutrients that your body needs to function.
A critical point as well is the level of melatonin in your body. When reduced, it can interfere with your sleep and wake cycle. Without the proper amount of rest, your stamina and endurance will be reduced, and your body will not feel recharged.
Reduced Reaction Time
Ok, so we’ve talked about how alcohol can lead to depression, but the fact is, just drinking alcohol doesn’t cause it. What’s happening is that the reaction rate for messages between your brain and body is significantly reduced.
Your engagement rate will first appear to be enhanced, but you will become lazy and lose focus when you continue to drink. Studies have shown that there are no medical benefits to excessive drinking; in fact, it causes more harm than good.
Yes, we know some people drink alcohol for this very reason but is that a good thing? Do you want to make decisions while impaired? It would be best if you were of a “sound mind” when making any decision, especially a decision such as driving or operating heavy machinery or even life-changing decisions such as intimacy. When you drink, your brain does change, and it’s blocked or reduced your ability to process information at a reasonable rate. This reduction in inhibition can lead to a poor decision or, as some would say, a lapse in judgment.
Recent studies have shown that extended use of alcohol can change the overall structure of your brain. The prefrontal cortex, which handles judgment and reasoning, can be forever damaged. Prolonged use of alcohol can lead to making bad decisions that can be life-altering.
Further studies have shown that alcohol is also known considered a gateway drug. It means it leads you down a path to take other substances that can lead to further destruction.
Take the time to understand the actual dangers of alcohol consumption. These 5 points alone are enough to steer you in a different direction. It’s not that occasional alcohol is terrible, but over-consumption can lead to dire consequences.