Tea for Self-Nutrition: Alcohol
Who doesn’t love a drink?
Everyone loves a drink!
Water is a drink. It’s essential to life itself. We need water to survive.
We can also infuse water with delicious plants to make tea, which is why we’re looking up tea articles on the Internet to begin with— unless you’re in the mood for a rather different kind of drink, made from different plants, and a very different infusion process.
I’m talking about alcohol.
Now, everyone has varying opinions and beliefs regarding alcohol, but being that it has been declared an essential business, I’m obliged to deliver you the facts on what is often referred to as the “fourth macronutrient” alongside the protein, carbs, and fat that we covered in the previously delicious TeaMuse installations.
First, how does alcohol work in the body?
As a trainer, my job is to tell you that regardless of the main factors in determining your personal ability to process a drink, the main thing that you must realize, every time you imbibe, is that your body is going to receive the information of, “Oh snap, alcohol!” and start attacking the task of digesting it. In order to do this effectively— while also making sure that your regular processes are running properly, ie: you’re still awake, functional, and breathing— your body has to throw everything else it might also be digesting to the side, delaying the absorption and utilization of those other nutrients.
This is why it’s always advised not to drink on an empty stomach. If there’s nothing in your system, the alcohol just shoots straight in and you’re buzzed immediately. Food acts as a buffer.
It’s a double-edged buffer, though. Just picture it: you have a glass, and now your body is so busy processing the alcohol calories that it can’t get to the regular macronutrients until hours later— being that alcohol is processed at a rate of 0.015 blood alcohol content, or BAC, per hour. Whatever you ate beforehand, or during the time you were drinking, is going to be delayed by a significant period of time. This messes with your internal rhythm of feeling hungry for your next meal, and the resulting mixed signals can lead to digestive distress— not to mention caloric buildup in the body while all this stuff waits to be processed.
That “caloric buildup” is my gentle term for excess weight. This is why alcohol isn’t your best friend if getting in shape or losing weight is your goal, and it’s my professional duty to explain it. Especially right now, when being indoors is probably leading to a greater temptation to deal with things via liquid medicine.
Now, I am also human. And many shades of Jewish-European. My culture has a huge tradition of drinking for various reasons, so I respect and understand the significance of alcohol in the greater paradigm.
So here’s where I get to be a trainer again, and help you out with the power of tea and nutrition.
If you’re going to partake, you want to consume the kinds of teas immediately afterwards that promote hydration and decrease inflammation. Luckily, I’ve written articles on both of those, so you’re welcome to check them out for further reading.
For this article, however, I want add in some additional recommendations that weren’t covered in the previous installments:
Honey. I’m in love with Adagio’s new line of raw honeys that are paired especially for certain teas. And not just because they’re so cute— did you know that honey has historically been used as a hangover cure, and in 2015 was scientifically proven to reduce the blood alcohol concentration in a controlled study on mice? Pretty amazing for a simple sugar!
Raw honey has even more health benefits than regular pasteurized honey, and includes probiotics for a happy gut so that you’ll feel better all the way down through your body. I’d call this a win for all parties, and putting Adagio’s Raw Honey for Rooibos on my medicinal bucket list.
Butterfly Pea Flower. When I saw that Adagio was finally listing this as a buyable tea ingredient, my heart definitely began to flutter at the prospect! There are so many good things about this herb, I barely know where to begin. Just get it. Drink it. You’ll understand once it’s in your cup— the feeling of tasting something that’s so good for you that you feel the flush of inflammation immediately dissipating. I’d even recommend it as a helper for non-alcohol-induced “hangovers” from simply living in too much stress, as we are now.
For more options, check out my previous writings on how to fight exercise-induced inflammation with tea, and rediscover how to love favorite teas like chamomile and hibiscus. Inflammation is simply one of the body’s responses to stress, so all the information in those articles also applies to the stress response from alcohol and, unfortunately, isolated living.
Stay strong, stay safe, and stay well.
NASM Certified Personal Trainer and Nutrition Coach, Founder of Work Life Fitness