Friday, July 6, 2012

H20 and You

H20 and You

It being the weekend directly after 4th of July - one in which it took place during a Wednesday, thus creating an island in itself not being able to be attached to any specific weekend, chances are you're going to be drinking copious amounts of alcohol.

Then again, you probably do this regularly in an attempt to escape your mundane 9 to 5 job.

But just in case you're new to this sort of high level alcohol induced world of liquor consumption, let me give you one piece of advice -- DRINK PLENTY OF WATER.

In fact, it's good to note how much water you should be drinking when you're drinking. Or more to the point, the science in how alcohol drinking effects your body. 90 seconds after your first sip, the alcohol hit your brain. At that point it effected your Neurotransmitters - thus making you more social. At the same time the chemical Vasopressin, which would normally send a signal to your kidney's telling them how much water to take from your blood. But since you've been drinking, alcohol turns this chemical off. At which point your kidney's don't know where to channel your water and just send it on down to your bladder.

Here's where the magic starts. For every one drink you have, you pee out four times as much than you consumed. Your dehydrated liver, in an effort to filter out the poisons, only has your brain to turn to for water, in doing so, your brain shrinks just a little and this shrinking pulls on the membrane -- Thus why you get hangovers.

In all, the alcohol you drink is quickly absorbed through your stomach and small intestine. This happens faster if your stomach is empty, so having it filled with some food to absorb some of it first is always a good thing. Women are less efficient at breaking down alcohol prior to it hitting the bloodstream and is probably why women get tipsy faster.

Then there's how much you're sweating out as well to factor in. Consuming alcohol on a hot day is pretty risky considering you're going to be sweating a lot more, and thus will be more likely to become dehydrated.

So what is the recommended amount? Well, most alcohol abuse prevention centers recommend that you drink 24 ounces of water, followed by 6 ounces of water for each serving of alcohol. The National Institute on Alcohol abuse and Alcoholism suggest alternating water with every drink of alcohol you consume.

By doing this you avoid and prevent dehydration from kicking in, but it will not make you sober by any means. You metabolize alcohol at the same rate no matter how much water you consume. The NIAAA recommend limiting yourself to one alcoholic drink per hour. This allows your body time to eliminate alcohol from your system before you become intoxicated.

It should be noted that a standard drink is defined as 0.6 fluid ounces of pure alcohol, equal to 5 ounces of wine, 12 ounces of beer or 1.5 ounces of the hard stuff, such as whiskey, vodka or gin. You should be careful with mixed drinks as those sneak up on you the fastest due to their sugars.

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