Bottoms up? The effects of alcohol on nutrition

The consumption of alcohol is deeply woven in our culture. Even though we know it’s doing us more harm than good. While consuming alcohol, the chances of malnutrition increase. In this article, we'll discuss the effects of alcohol and the vitamins that are particularly important when drinking alcohol. However, the best course of action remains to reduce alcohol consumption or abstain from drinking alcohol altogether.

Short term effects of alcohol

Do you remember a night out when you had a couple of drinks and craved a salad? Probably not. Consuming alcohol heightens the perception of salt, fat, and sugar flavours. That's why a juicy burger and crispy fries can be so appealing in those moments. Alcohol also affects blood sugar levels, leading to low blood glucose. Our bodies seem to crave quick-fix solutions rather than the nourishment we actually need.

When you drink alcohol, the liver converts the alcohol into a (toxic) substance called acetaldehyde, which is then further broken down into a (harmless) substance called acetate. This process leads to the depletion of vital nutrients required for various bodily functions, resulting in negative effects on your overall health, both short and long term. 

Long term effects of alcohol

When it comes to heavy drinking, the impact on your health becomes more significant. 

In addition to nutritional deficiencies, prolonged alcohol abuse can result in liver disease, cardiovascular problems, increased cancer risk, gastrointestinal issues, neurological problems, and mental health disorders. It is important to understand that the consequences of excessive alcohol consumption extend far beyond immediate effects. They are taking a toll on your well-being.

Supporting your body

While the best approach is to avoid alcohol altogether, we understand that social situations may call for responsible consumption. In those moments, it's important to take proactive steps to support your body. Essential vitamins and nutrients can help alleviate some of alcohol's impact. Consider eating foods rich in vitamin B1, B6, B11 (folate), and vitamin C.  These are the vitamins that your body inhibits the absorption of during alcohol consumption or are required in the process of breaking down alcohol. They are crucial for supporting your body's overall well-being and can help restore any nutrients that alcohol consumption may deplete. Not in the mood for a salad? Consider taking a multi vitamin. A carefully designed multi contains vitamin A, C, D and B-vitamins with the addition of minerals, trace elements and antioxidants.


In the end, it's all about making informed choices and prioritising your health. While society may cheer for "bottoms up," it's crucial to recognize how alcohol affects our nutrition and overall well-being. That is why adopting a 'bottoms down' approach more often, empowers you to take charge of your health.