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There is no doubt that alcohol can have adverse effects on people who choose to drink regularly and maybe to excess. While these effects are highly dependent on the physical and genetic makeup of each individual, women who drink alcohol experience unique effects. This article will explore how alcohol affects women regarding nutrition, endurance, and other essential functions in the body.

Why Do Women Face Higher Risks When Drinking Alcohol?

When compared to men, women will experience health problems sooner and often at lower drinking levels. This is due to several factors. First and foremost, women weigh less than men on average. Another factor is the amount of water present in the body. According to information provided by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, when alcohol is consumed, its highest concentration is found in body water.  

On average, women have lower body water content than men. As a result, women can drink the same amount of alcohol as a man and have higher blood alcohol content. A higher concentration of alcohol in the body often leads to a higher risk of health issues among women.

How Does Alcohol Affect Nutrition and Other Body Functions in Women?

With increased and regular alcohol consumption, women can experience a myriad of health issues. Firstly, alcohol has significant impacts on nutrition in women. When alcohol enters the system, it converts the sugars to fatty acids. Alcohol has no nutritional value and can block the body’s ability to absorb minerals and nutrients it needs for optimal body functions. Secondly, alcohol is a depressant that acts on the body. The depressive effects of alcohol cause a decrease in stamina, endurance, and performance.

Another body function impacted by alcohol consumption in women is the production of hormones. Alcohol inhibits the functioning of the glands that release hormones. As a result, hormone levels can fluctuate, which can lead to many metabolic effects that negatively impact performance and psychological processes. 

Alcohol consumption can impact energy storage in the body, blood pressure, body growth, and reproductive issues. 

Sleep is another body function negatively impacted by alcohol use. Even moderate amounts of alcohol disrupt the body’s circadian rhythms that regulate sleep as well as energy and sex drive. When a woman’s circadian rhythm cycle is off, it is out of sync with the brain area known as the suprachiasmatic nucleus. This small but critical brain region coordinates sleep and wake cycles. Additionally, women who regularly drink are at higher risk of liver damage, heart disease, and have a higher risk of developing breast cancer due to the excess amounts of estrogen that is released through alcohol.

Is Alcohol Negatively Impacting your Performance? 

If you are a woman wanting to perform at peak levels, it may be worth assessing your physical and mental performance in regard to alcohol consumption While alcohol may provide some benefits to our general wellbeing and happiness, alcohol use can easily become a problem for some people.  Taking inventory of how much you drink and why you drink can provide valuable insight into your relationship with alcohol and will allow you to evaluate how it may be affecting your performance. Cutting back or eliminating alcohol from your life periodically can be the best way to truly understand its effects on your performance.