GETTING DRUNK TONIGHT? (READ THIS FIRST)

I’ve wanted to write this for a long time.

I wanted to write it because, as humans, we tend to be extremists. So extreme that when we adopt new ideas and behaviors (such as “I want to be healthy“), we can end up shunning all things that seem opposed to those ideas.

When it comes to turning over a new leaf, most often it is sugar that gets the biggest beat-down while next on the list is alcohol.

Now it’s easy to say alcohol is “bad” just like it is easy to say that is “good” (perhaps that’s why we do?), but without context, there is no way an accurate answer can be given.

So rather than answer that question for you, here are 3 facts that may help you decide that for yourself.

THE 3 FACTS

1) The calories from alcohol cannot be stored as fat. This is because alcohol is a toxin. When we consume alcohol, our body puts fat burning on hold and immediately goes to work eliminating the alcohol from our system (or else we stay drunk forever). The food, however, that we eat when we are getting our buzz on — that definitely has a higher chance of getting stored as fat.

Read more: The truth about alcohol, fat loss and muscle growth

2) Getting drunk screws with our hormones. In short, getting “blasted” leads to a significant drop in testosterone (the stuff we want if we want to maintain muscle and lose fat) and an increase in estrogen (the stuff many of us do not need more of as an excess can contribute to fat storage). So even if we abstain from food during an alcohol binge, it can still wreck our body composition.

Read more: Heavy Drinking Will Lower Your Testosterone Levels

3) It makes us more creative. Just like coffee can make us more detailed-oriented and focused, alcohol has the opposite effect in that it spaces us out and allows us to see more of the forest from the trees. This “spaced out” feeling — this is right-brain thinking where epiphanies and creativity are born (and where it is easy to zoom out of our worries and frustrations). The only caveat of drinking alcohol to spur creativity is that we cannot overdo it as past a certain stage not only do we become more infantile, but we remember less of our creative ideas (so it’s best to write them down).

Read more: Why Being Sleepy and Drunk Are Great for Creativity

IT’S ABOUT CONTEXT

Can you drink alcohol on a fat loss or muscle gain plan? Absolutely. Can you drink it everyday and not see side effects? Again, absolutely.

Like everything else, context is what matters most:

  1. Opt for drinks that have no sugar added (such as liquers and wine).
  2. It’s either food or booze. Don’t go nuts on both.
  3. Drink to get buzzed, not drunk (this will also help ensure you don’t binge on food).
  4. If you are going to drink to boost creativity or chill your nerves, know when to stop and make sure you have a pen handy.
  5. If your stress load is already high (from lack of sleep, poor nutrition, or the percieved kind), keep the consumption very low.

If you abuse it, of course you’ll pay the price.

Make sure you know the 4  indicators of health so you’ll be able to know how much is TOO MUCH.