Alcohol Affects Your Energy Levels in 5 Ways

Throughout history, people have consumed wine at social gatherings, athletic events, and religious rituals.

In reality, evidence shows that cavemen made alcoholic drinks by fermenting fruits and grains. Despite the fact that we will never know precisely where, when, or how it all began, the simple truth remains that people all around the world continue to consume alcohol. [1]

Alcohol can make you feel more outgoing when used in moderation, but when consumed in excess, it might prevent you from wanting to go anywhere or be near anyone.

Before you go out and have another glass of your favorite New Zealand Zinfandel or try to cool off with an ice-cold pint of Guinness at the Irish pub around the corner, you should think about some of the potential side-effects of drinking alcohol, particularly how it can affect your mood, judgment, and energy levels.

Over the last two decades, as a professional addiction counselor and interventionist, I’ve dealt with a lot of fine individuals who have ended up doing a lot of awful and dubious things while under the influence of alcohol.

Alcohol-impaired drivers were implicated in around 28% of all traffic-related deaths in the United States, and according to the World Health Organization, approximately 55% of perpetrators of domestic violence consumed alcohol before the assault. [2] [3]

Despite the fact that each situation is different, many of the underlying causes that contribute to alcohol consumption are the same. For example, the majority of persons who have struggled with alcohol misuse began by drinking recreationally—that is, once in a while and at certain events.

Then, over time and with repeated usage, they acquired tolerance for it, requiring more and more alcohol to have the same effect.

Furthermore, because of the effects of alcohol on the central nervous system, your body might grow dependent on it to operate, although dysfunctionally, over time.

Many of my clients who have struggled with alcoholism have told me that they required a glass of alcohol simply to get out of bed so they could calm their anxieties and get unstuck.

As a result, alcoholics tend to spend a substantial amount of time and energy ensuring that there is always enough alcohol accessible, while also drastically lowering time spent on more productive and beneficial daily activities such as employment, personal cleanliness, appropriate diet, exercise, and so on.

Statistical evidence notwithstanding, the fact is that alcohol use is not going away anytime soon. Prohibition will not be reinstated.

Whether you want to drink or not, it is thus necessary, in my opinion, to learn how to live with it rather than attempting to condemn it or simply pretending that the problem does not exist.

With that stated, and without wishing to sabotage anyone’s future party plans, if you’re concerned about retaining control over your mood, judgment, and energy level, you’re probably also ready to learn more about how alcohol affects your body.

1. Alcohol Increases Risk of Depression

To begin, let’s look at how alcohol affects the body. Alcohol is categorized as depressive since it appears to diminish alertness and central nervous system activity.

Although it may initially improve your mood by interacting with dopamine and serotonin receptors in the brain, continued use and a lack of emotional defenses can lead to you feeling overwhelmingly depressed as the alcohol depletes those chemicals from your brain, leaving you much more vulnerable to emotional distress. [4]

The more alcohol you drink, the sadder you feel, similar to the chemical version of a self-destructive self-fulfilling prophecy.

2. Alcohol Reduces Your Energy Level

Drinking alcohol depletes your energy in a variety of ways. To begin with, alcohol boosts your blood sugar level; but, when insulin is released into your system, your blood sugar level swiftly drops, leaving you feeling weak.

When you consume alcohol, your kidneys are working overtime to drain the alcohol out of your body, so you’ll find yourself urinating more frequently. This causes dehydration, which lowers your energy levels because an excess of important minerals and nutrients is drained away.

Furthermore, drinking alcohol has been proven to lower the level of melatonin in your body, which is a key regulator of your circadian rhythm, disrupting your internal sleep-wake cycle.

Your endurance and stamina will suffer if your body is unable to recharge if you do not get enough rest[5]

3. Alcohol Reduces Your Reaction Tim

So, to summarise, alcohol does not make you melancholy merely by consuming it; rather, it slows down the transmission of information between the brain and the body. It basically cuts down on your reaction time.

You may feel more lively and engaged at first, but when your central nervous system is depressed by continuous use, you may begin to feel more sluggish and imbalanced.

Recent research has revealed that alcohol is directly connected to changes in brain chemistry and composition, with little or no therapeutic effect.  [6] 

4. Alcohol Reduces Your Inhibitions

However, not all of alcohol’s consequences are inherently negative, at least not immediately away. Alcohol has been shown to lower inhibitions in connection to a slowing response time when consumed in moderation.

To put it another way, if you drink too much alcohol, your brain may not have enough time to process fear that you might have felt in a comparable scenario without it, such as meeting new people at a party or spending time with your in-laws.

Unfortunately, lowering your inhibitions might also lower your capacity to recognize when it’s safe to take another drink, leading to failures in judgment.

5. Alcohol Impairs Your Judgment

Recent research has found that heavy drinking can affect the anatomy of the brain, particularly in the prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for judgment and thinking.

As a result, there is a significant link between alcohol addiction and poor judgments, such as driving while intoxicated or drinking at work. [7] Furthermore, alcohol is seen as a gateway drug since, because your judgment is compromised, it might lead to the use of even more strong mood-altering drugs.

Furthermore, because most of us are hardworking people who need to contribute both financially and emotionally, we must be able to move quickly and precisely when the chance arises, while also being able to love and care for the people we care about.

So, rather than foregoing a wonderful night out with your friends, you might want to think twice about buying another cocktail at the club, especially if you want to avoid all of the potentially unpleasant repercussions of bad judgment, such as legal, financial, medical, and familial problems.

Final Thoughts

To summarise, most persons who take a drink now and then are unlikely to suffer any significant repercussions as a result of alcohol addiction.

Some people may be completely unaware of the effects of alcohol on their bodies. However, educating oneself on the possible consequences of regular alcohol consumption may help you avoid this.

So, whether you condone or condemn the consumption of adult alcoholic beverages, the fact remains that alcohol has been around for thousands of years, and there are no plans to stop making it as far as I am aware, as it is served all over the world at family gatherings, sporting events, religious ceremonies, and almost anywhere else.

Nonetheless, considering that drinking alcohol may have a direct impact on your mood, judgment, and energy level, I feel that everyone should be informed of the effects before ingesting it.

Although alcohol might decrease your inhibitions and make you feel a little more outgoing and engaged in the short term by providing an artificial boost of energy, it can contribute to sadness over time since it affects your judgment and depletes your energy level.

Reference:

  1. BBC: Our Ancestors Were Drinking Alcohol Before They Were Human

2. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism: Alcohol Use in the United States

3. World Health Organization: Intimate partner violence and alcohol

4. PubMed.gov: A review on alcohol: from the central action mechanism to chemical dependency

5. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism: Alcohol’s Interactions With Circadian Rhythms

6. CNN Health: Drinking any amount of alcohol causes damage to the brain, study finds

7. NCBI: ALCOHOL AND THE PREFRONTAL CORTEX

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