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Fun and Fitness: Beer then liquor, never been sicker

Rick Melo | Interrobang | Sports | April 6th, 2009

I love getting smashed just as much as the next guy. There's nothing like a few wobbly pops after a hard weeks work to loosen the old goose. Yet, I also understand the consequences of a ridiculous amount of downed wobbly pops.

I may have missed the alcohol awareness themed Interrobang by a long shot, but it's never too late to reiterate some key issues. I thought I'd give it the ol' Rick Melo take on things. Hopefully I can further clarify a few things and help dispel certain myths about alcohol.

One thing you've probably heard for years is that beer is more fattening then liquor. This is complete bullshit.

Your typical beer (five per cent Budweiser) has about 150 calories. Now, your typical shot of liquor (rye) has about 70 calories. You would most likely mix it with something unless you're bush league, so half a can of pop is another 70 calories. You've just transformed your supposed “lower calorie” liquor drink into a 150 calorie beverage.

Now let's get serious, most of us hit up liquor drinks that are closer to one and a half shots of liquor, or even two shots if you're hardcore like me. Your liquor drink just jumped higher in calories then a typical beer! Don't forget, most of us can drink liquor a lot quicker then beer, so you're even deeper in the calorie hole! It's overall calorie consumption that adds pounds, so stop giving beer the sole blame for beer guts.

There are also many myths about hangovers. The truth is, a hang over is a hang over and once your hung over, there's not much you can do besides waiting it out. We're all human and our bodies eliminate alcohol at a certain speed. Time is the only thing that cures a hangover. There are several things that can be done to help cripple some of the awful effects. A little milk or olive oil before a night on the town will help line the stomach and serve as a protective layer. Eating a good meal before heading out definitely helps absorb some of the alcohol content. Don't be afraid to snack throughout the night to as it will keep aiding your cause. Drinking water throughout the night will help alleviate some of the dehydrating effects. Oh, I almost forgot, avoid drinking like you're a rock star trying to commit suicide.

Alcohol also dilates small blood vessels through the skin, which causes increased blood flow near the skins surface. Over time, these blood vessels can be permanently damaged. Underneath the eyes is where is can become most visible since the skin layer is extremely thin. You might laugh it off now since you're a young stallion, but once you hit your mid to late twenties, believe me, your skin won't glow like an angel anymore.

Drinking is the worst detriment when it comes to weight training and fitness. By now, you already know how important water is when it comes to hitting the gym. If you're dehydrated and your water is being used to metabolize alcohol, then you won't have sufficient water to process other substances!

Heavy drinking also weakens your immune system, as well as a number of hormones. Drinking also affects the brain in a negative manner and will ruin your focus for training as well as other important daily tasks!

I could go on forever, but I don't think I need to beat a dead horse here. For the most part, we all understand the negative effects of heavy drinking. You're in college now and you should be having the time of your life.

What you shouldn't be doing is looking like your 40 by the time your 25. A glass of wine a day can promote healthy benefits for the heart, but ten glasses a day can get you promoted for a nice coffin. Remember, you are what you eat AND drink.
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