The Body on Booze

You savor the first sip-and the multiple sips after-but what does your body think of that alcohol fix? Your body reacts to alcohol as it would to a poison. In other words, it works as hard to get it out as you work to get it in! First, the liver changes alcohol into acetaldehyde, a highly toxic substance. This then turns into acetate, a harmless substance that is passed out of your body in your urine, and-more minutely-in your breath and sweat. This process is hard work, and it means that your liver can’t focus on its other job, which is sending energizing glucose to other areas of your body. That’s why you feel tired, weak, and disoriented following a booze binge. And take note: It takes the liver of a 150-pound person two hours to metabolize one beer! The bottom line is that alcohol does a number on your body. So drink smart!

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