Before you plan on that glass of wine after a hard day's work, think about the effects of alcohol on your waistline. Alcohol is a combination of carbohydrates, sugar, and ethanol. After its ingestion, it stops in the stomach where a portion of the alcohol is absorbed into the bloodstream. The ethanol is sent to the liver where your body burns it before any other source of fuel. During this process, carbohydrates and protein wait to be broken down while fat directly stores into the fat cells located throughout your body.

Furthermore, we must look at the glycemic index, or the speed that foods are digested and how they affect blood sugar levels in the body. The glycemic index of alcohol, maltose specifically which is found in beer, registers around 110, with 100 being pure table sugar. Because of this high spike in blood sugar and the cessation of the burning of other fuel sources, such as fat, alcohol is a double whammy.

Diabetics or those following a ketogenic diet need beware of especially adverse reactions. Alcohol can increase insulin secretion, dropping the blood sugars drastically. The body normally releases its stored glycogen as a response. However, alcohol has a tendency to prevent this, potentially causing hypoglycemia for up to ten hours after drinking. The results are diziness, sleepiness, and disorientation.

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