Alcohol addiction poses many threats to our health. One such health risk is the use of alcohol and exercise. Drinking alcohol and exercising can lead to severe dehydration, which is dangerous because your body needs to stay hydrated when participating in physical activity.
On the flip side, exercise can lead to better health and significantly improve alcohol use disorders and harmful effects. The hormones released from exercise can provide you that rush that can substitute for drinking alcohol and be a source of a healthy lifestyle choice. To learn more about the danger of mixing alcohol and exercise, contact The Willows at Red Oak today at 855.773.0614.
The Dangerous Mix of Alcohol and Exercise
Drinking alcohol and exercising can cause many harmful health effects.
1. Alcohol Dehydrates You
Alcohol is a diuretic, which is a substance that increases the amount of water and salt expelled from the body. This issue can lead to severe dehydration, which causes body temperature and heart rate to rise. Dehydration impairs the body’s ability to regulate heat. When you exercise, you naturally sweat, which can compound your body experiences through drinking alcohol.
2. Alcohol Can Interfere with Building Muscle
Alcohol abuse can make the process of healing muscles after workouts very inefficient. A growth hormone produced by the body heals the soreness and the aches one feels after exercise. Alcohol addiction raises the level of the hormone cortisol in your body. This hormone causes stress and destroys the muscle that you are in the process of building.
3. Alcohol Slows Down Your Nervous System
Alcohol acts as an inhibitor of the central nervous system. This reaction slows down the function of neurons, which transmit electrical signals or impulses to the brain. These impulses carry information, which is essential for the brain to function effectively. The effect of alcohol on the brain is similar to the impact of sedation or anesthesia, which is a temporary loss of awareness. When alcohol inhibits the electrical impulses, the brain will be unable to function correctly and, therefore, affect the ability to perform different tasks, such as exercise.
Exercise floods your brain and body with a natural source of dopamine, the hormone that causes pleasure and happiness. However, alcohol causes unnatural or artificial dopamine, which is very harmful because it can make you experience highs and lows based on your alcohol consumption. This is the trap that often leads to alcohol addiction.
4. Alcohol Can Give You Cramps
When you exercise, your muscles use glucose to produce energy. The result of this process is that lactic acid gets produced. When your muscles produce an excessive amount of lactic acid, they tend to cramp up and experience muscle fatigue.
This process is normal and explains why everyone may experience muscle cramps when they work out intensively over a long period. However, your liver is busy processing the toxins from drinking alcohol if you drink before or during exercise. The alcohol in your body undermines your liver’s ability to get rid of the lactic acid from your muscles and body. This not only increased the chance of you experiencing cramps but also may limit your power and stamina in exercising.
Treatment for Alcohol Addiction is Available
Alcohol abuse causes many serious health issues and takes away from the enjoyment and health benefits of exercise. If you choose to focus on improving your health, there are various treatment methods available that include:
- Dual diagnosis treatment
- Animal-assisted therapy treatment
- Relapse prevention education
- Individual therapy
- Group therapy
- Experiential therapy activities
The Willows at Red Oak Recovery Can Help
Alcohol abuse is the cause of many problems that can affect the heart, muscles, brain, and overall health. It can cause a major disruption to daily life and take away the enjoyment you feel when performing activities you normally enjoy.
If you want to know more about how drinking and exercise do not fit well together, contact a medical expert. Contact the Willows at Red Oak Recovery at 855.773.0614 for more information on how we can help treat alcohol addiction.