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Physiologically, alcohol consumption does not directly result in fat storage. The major problem is generally the over-consumption of food, particularly fats and carbohydrates, that occurs when alcohol is consumed. The well known beer gut would thus appear to be a beer plus peanuts/chips gut rather than due to the beer consumption alone.

Carbohydrates often form the mixes in many alcoholic drinks. Bourbon and coke, bacardi breezers, beer and flavoured stolis are just a few of a number of well known examples. Alcohol, when ingested, is treated like a toxin by the body and taken directly to the liver to be processed as soon as possible. At such time, any stored carbohydrates are no longer required as a fuel source. Therefore, the carbohydrates consumed with the alcohol are readily stored in the muscle cells and the liver.

Alcohol may contribute to fat gain due to the foods and drink mixes consumed with it.

As previously mentioned however, the body only has a limited carbohydrate storage capacity in the muscles and the liver. Hence, binge drinking may cause an oversupply of carbohydrates to be stored as fat. Alcohol yields 29kj of energy per gram, which is almost two times higher than energy value of one gram of carbohydrate. Therefore, it may take the body almost twice as long to burn up the alcohol, which further delays the body’s ability to utilize its carbohydrate stores.

Hence, it is important that you carefully choose the types of drinks that you consume. When drinking spirits, you should use water or diet soft drinks as the mix and when drinking beer, you should choose low-alcohol varieties, Which are also often lower in carbohydrates. Furthermore, you should be aware of the foods that you consume in the hours prior to and while drinking to ensure that their carbohydrate and fat contents are not too high. Similarly, you should be aware of the foods that you eat on the days following a drinking session, as higher than normal carbohydrate consumption may easily lead to fat gain. A low to moderate exercise session may be useful on the day after consuming alcohol to utilize the oversupply of energy. However, exercising, when you are dehydrated, is not recommended.