How Acidic Is Alcohol?
The question of alcohol and PH is a bit more complicated than you might think. How much your PH is affected by alcohol depends an awful lot on the kind of alcohol you like to drink. As a general rule, alcohol is quite acidic. However, surprisingly, when metabolised it does not have as much of an effect on the body’s PH as things like carbonated water and energy drinks. This is to do with the speed at which your body converts the carbonic acid in alcohol into carbon dioxide, and eliminates it. However, if the alcohol you’re drinking has other sources of acid added – preservatives, for example, or carbonation – then it’s not such good news. Drinking flat, less ‘processed’ alcoholic drinks, such as real ale and traditional wines will have less of an impact on your body’s PH than a highly flavored alcopop or a fizzy lager will. However, all alcohol is still acidic, and will therefore have an impact upon your alkalinity.
The Willpower Question
Perhaps the main problem with drinking while on this diet is that it knocks out your willpower. It’s often been noted by dieters and heavy drinkers that alcohol seems to first make us crave carb-heavy foods, and then knock out our inhibitions about eating them. A good number of rigorously-kept diets have ended up derailed in McDonalds after a few drinks. Alcohol seriously restricts our inhibitions, meaning that we’re far less able to resist the allure of forbidden junk foods after drinking. Furthermore, it affects our body’s ability to balance its blood sugars, meaning that we often start craving the energy ‘hit’ which comes from fatty carbs after a few drinks. It’s very hard to prevent this diet-killing combination of lowered inhibitions and carb-cravings, but you can try by filling up on something healthy before you hit the bars – this might keep your blood sugars a bit more level, and help your body to cope with the alcohol you’re drinking.
You Will Get Drunker
If you prided yourself on your ability to tolerate alcohol before you went alkaline, you’re in for a shock. Because alkalinity makes your body more efficient at absorbing food and drink, those on the alkaline diet will find that alcohol hits their central nervous system a lot faster than it used to do. This means you’ll get a lot drunker on a lot less alcohol. On the one hand, this means a cheap night out for many of us. On the other, however, it means that your inhibitions will be compromised more easily, leading to the dietary problems mentioned above. So do be aware of your limits when you head out – they’re lower than you think! Don’t feel bad about this – it means that what you’re doing is working.
There is some evidence to suggest that certain kinds of alcohol may be good for us in moderation. Organic red wine, for example, contains resveratrol – a powerful antioxidant which is great for your heart – and traditionally brewed real ale has a lot of vitamins and minerals in it. Plus, the social mileu which often accompanies drinking is good for our mental health. However, you can just as easily get the resveratrol from red grapes, vitamins and minerals can be obtained more healthily from un-fermented sources, and it’s perfectly possible to socialise without having a drink. If you must drink, be sure to choose a ‘healthier’ source of alcohol, such as organic red wine or real ale. However, do be aware that there is no such thing as a ‘healthy’ alcoholic beverage. Any kind of alcohol will affect your major organs. And any drink does run the risk of derailing your diet. So, treat booze with caution!