Gut Weakener Series: Alcohol and Your Gut Health
Alcohol is often part of celebrations and it can also help us relax and let loose - though not all of the effects are welcomed with open arms.
We’re taking a deeper dive into alcohol's impact on gut health – from how it affects our liver down to top tips that protect your digestive system!
If you experience stomach cramping, abdominal pain, bloating, gas, and diarrhoea or constipation - read this blog now!
Learn more about the complicated relationship between booze and your microbiome here before you take another sip.
- The gut-liver connection
- Alcohol and your gut health
- It's not just the alcohol - that's having an impact
- Top Tips For Drinking Sensibly (and with your gut health in mind
The gut-liver connection
Alcohol and gut health are two phrases that don’t often go hand in hand, but it turns out there is a strong gut-liver connection.
Alcohol is absorbed in the upper intestinal tract and then transported to the liver via the portal vein.
The gut and the liver communicate bi-directionally via this communication network, something known as the gut-liver axis.
Alcohol affects the gut because it has to pass through the liver before being broken down, and can have a negative effect if consumed in large amounts.
When this happens, it can lead to an imbalance of gut bacteria and increase inflammation in the gut wall.
This can cause symptoms such as constipation, bloating and general digestive discomfort.
"It's important to be mindful of how much alcohol you're consuming in order to keep your gut healthy – moderation is key!"
If you feel you're eating well, doing all the right things but you have dodgy guts - could alcohol the thing you're overlooking?
Alcohol and Gut Health
Alcohol consumption can cause inflammation in the gut.
This inflammation can disrupt the gut microbiome, which is responsible for gut health and plays a role in how our body functions from healing to energy to mental health.
Alcohol also has an effect on gut bacteria, as alcohol kills off beneficial bacteria while allowing harmful bacteria to multiply. Not what we want!
The gut-liver axis is also affected by alcohol consumption, as it affects the communication between gut and liver.
Drinking alcohol can also cause digestive issues by reducing the amount of enzymes and juices the body produces.
This can hinder digestion and lead to a range of symptoms, including bloating, loose stools and too much gas.
It's not just the alcohol - that's having an impact
The drunk munchies aren’t your gut's best friend, so make smart food choices and opt for good gut choices.
Losing our inhibitions can also lead to other bad gut choices!
If you're looking to improve poor gut health then avoid processed foods and pick nutritious options that are rich in fibre and protein.
Try sticking to the one-to-one ratio: if you have one alcoholic beverage, be sure to have one glass of water as well.
This will help to rehydrate your gut and replenish electrolytes lost through alcohol consumption.
Top Tips For Drinking Sensibly (and with your gut health in mind)
• Avoid excess amounts of alcohol, as this can lead to gut dysbiosis and inflammation.
• Choose gut-friendly snacks when you’re drinking, such as fruits, vegetables and nuts.
• Rehydrate with a glass of water for every alcoholic beverage you consume.
• Try gut supplements to help maintain gut health.
• Listen to your gut – if something doesn't feel right about your gut, consider if alcohol is the culprit.