"Dear Professor Schanz,
I occasionally like to partake in the consumption of spirits. As it relates to all things gainz, I am inquiring as to whether it is prudent for me to consume my spirits spaced out over the course of a week, say two spirits per night, or consume 14 in one night?"
Aside from the fact that I feel like I just read a question from Ralph Waldo Emerson, I definitely probably have an answer for you.
1. The first component to address is the caloric content.
Let’s just say for simplicity that each drink is 100 calories. That would leave you with a total of 1400 extra calories for the week. 1400 calories is 1400 calories, right? It shouldn’t matter if they are consumed over the span of an entire week, or in one night, right?
Well, your body could have an easier time compensating for an extra 200 calories in one sitting, as compared to the 1400 calorie scenario. The 200 calories is a lot less immediate energy that needs be used or be stored. Whereas in the 1400 calorie scenario, there is going to be a much smaller percentage of that total that is going to be able to be used for immediate energy and a much larger percentage that is going to have to be stored.
The winner goes to the 2 drinks per night in this scenario.
2. The second component to address is the deleterious effects of metabolizing alcohol in each scenario.
Two drinks per night, with an average metabolization time of 1 drink per hour, is not likely to have much for deleterious effects on your liver, endocrine system, sleep cycle, recovery, etc. at least acutely. However, two drinks per night chronically could start to catch up with a person, especially from the caloric standpoint that was addressed above.
This is the component where 14 drinks a night really displays its treachery. Fourteen drinks in one night is certainly considered binge drinking and alcohol is consumed at a rate faster than one drink per hour in this instance. This expedited rate of alcohol consumption leads to a backlog of a substance called acetaldehyde which is thought to be approximately 10 times more toxic than ethanol (alcohol). This toxicity load is hell on your liver, and does a number on several other organs like the kidneys, along with playing a significant role in contributing to the mechanism of a hangover.
As it relates to metabolism, body composition, and performance, alcohol’s effect on the liver and sex hormones are where the the rubber meets the road. Binge drinking can have proestrogenic effects along with antitestosterone effects. This is like the holy grail duo to bitch tits, beer bellies and a viagra prescription. The proestrogenic effects are compounded by the liver’s inability to properly clear estrogens from the body due to its preference for metabolizing alcohol first, or an overall sluggishness from chronic drinking.
Again, the winner would have to go to the 2 drinks per night scenario.
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