Health and Fitness: Alcohol and Caffeine Use

Is it Okay to Drink Alcohol? Drinking alcohol is almost a national pastime in the United States. However, that does not make it a good thing. But, is drinking alcohol a bad thing? The answer is yes, drinking alcohol is a bad thing...but so is eating a diet high in fat. Alcohol consumption does not automatically equal health problems or an inability to reach health and fitness goals. The adverse effects of alcohol are well documented in various studies and educational materials around the world. A write-up on the impact of alcohol can be found at this link from the National Institute on Alcohol and Alcoholism. Perhaps the most noteworthy points are the effects on the liver, testosterone production in males, and the potential harm to the immune system. Simply put, even moderate consumption of alcohol can have adverse effects on the liver, reduce testosterone production, and lower immune system function. For more information, follow the link and read the write-up. You can also read this write-up from the Mayo Clinic. So what does this mean for you? You do not have to abstain from alcohol use. Moderate alcohol use has been proven to have minimal negative effects on health and potentially has some positive effects (though this is not a reason to drink alcohol). Keep your alcohol use to a minimum and understand no two people have the same tolerance to alcohol. You must know your personal limits. Have questions? Let us know. How Much Caffeine is Too Much? Like alcohol use, caffeine consumption is a regular thing in the United States. Every corner has a Starbucks or some other coffee shop. (Well, maybe not every corner, but there sure are a lot of Starbucks, don't you think?) Caffeine consumption in itself is not dangerous. Caffeine use pre-workout can lead to improved muscle contraction, a sense of awareness, and even a feeling of mild euphoria, among other benefits. However, as this write-up from the Mayo Clinic notes, over-consumption of caffeine can have numerous negative effects as well. The primary negative effects of overuse of caffeine are excessively elevated heart rate, racing of the mind (inability to focus), water loss through increased urination, loss of appetite (which can be a benefit in some cases), jitteriness, and insomnia, To counter these effects, a person (you) must know their tolerance level. Widespread research suggests that less than 500 milligrams (half-gram) of caffeine per day is ideal. However, some people may be ale to consume more, or need to consume less, based on individual tolerances. Have questions? Let us know.

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