Whilst it’s almost certain that you’ll be deficient if you’re a true alcoholic, those regular Friday night binges can also leave you lacking in key nutrients over time.
One of the things many of us love to indulge in, admittedly, is a heavy drinking night or two each week. This might depend which country you’re from, however. For many, especially those who are younger, it’s a way of unwinding and relaxing. Those who consume larger amounts of alcohol are more likely to eat very little food on those days – further increasing the chance of a deficiency.
With that said, did you ever imagine that it would be possible to come deficient from drinking just a couple of nights each week in combination with a very good diet? Probably not. But you were wrong in thinking that, and what’s more, it can often be totally prevented in the first place, and that’s without the need to ditch your much loved habit.
When you think about alcohol, you’ll probably think about your liver and not much else. However, for many, although down to your genetics, a typical liver can handle a lot – that’s if it gets a rest for most of the week. Lacking in nutrients for long periods of time can have detrimental effects on your body, leading to anaemia, cancer, liver disease, heart disease and much more. For that reason, it seems like common sense to prevent a deficiency before releasing you have one.
It’s important to note that if you feel you’re drinking too much or have a nutritional deficiency, then you should take a trip to your GP.
This article takes a look at common nutritional deficiencies that can occur from drinking too much alcohol over time, along with tips and advice on how to counter them…
One of the things that alcohol does is burn up certain B vitamins, especially Thiamine. Regular urination can quickly deplete folate (take note beer drinkers). That’s right, sinking 10 cans of beer won’t just have you running to the toilet regularly, but you’ll also be urinating key nutrients.
Advice: Take a strong Vitamin B complex each day to help ensure your body is getting the maximum amount that it needs.
As science has become aware of just how important zinc is for humans, awareness of
deficiencies are now far better understood. Consuming alcohol involves the body taxing zinc supply and a large amount is lost through urine – showing that you can quite easily become deficient from those regular binges. Research points to the idea that a cycle can be formed, which means that a zinc deficiency can lead to an acute cycle of increased alcohol cravings and consumption. What does this mean? Resolving a zinc deficiency can literally help lower your cravings and tolerance considerably.
Advice: Take a 15mg zinc supplement with copper daily – this should help prevent a deficiency.
Other Vitamins and Minerals
Whilst B vitamins and Zinc are two of the most common deficiencies to develop fromdrinking too much alcohol regularly, there are many other possible ones, too. Vitamin A is one of the other main mentions as it is stored in the liver, which of course, is an organ that alcohol puts strain on. Other mentions, which are considered rare include C, D, E, K, Magnesium and Iron.
Advice: Take a good multivitamin – it’s an easy way to help prevent a deficiency. What’s more, you can take it along with your B Complex vitamin, that’s because it’s water soluble and very safe in large amounts. If your multivitamin doesn’t contain zinc, or only a little (less than 5mg), then you can also consider taking a zinc supplement too.
It’s always important to understand the risks and benefits from the habits that you regularly enjoy. Because beer contains a variety of great things such as hops, there are some health benefits when consumed responsibly. Wine is also considered to be full of health boosting components. I’m not here to lecture you on what you should do, but the important message to really send out is to enjoy what you drink, don’t develop a daily habit, don’t put yourself in dangerous situations, and to ensure you’re getting the right nutrients to defend against any possible deficiency.