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The simple act of consuming an alcoholic drink sets off a cascade of chemical reactions in the body. Alcohol alone puts the liver to work as it tries to detoxify the bloodstream. But what you might not know is the fact that the alcoholic beverage you drink introduces its own chemical cocktail that does things to your own body chemistry that affects more than your ability to physically coordinate yourself. It also slows down your brain cells and literally poisons you as you ingest it. That’s not to say you shouldn’t imbibe at all to protect yourself; rather you should pace the drinking to give your body a chance to recover and not leave yourself with a nasty hangover in the morning.
When you partake of an alcoholic drink, you set a series of events in motion. Once the alcohol gets into your bloodstream, it’s sent to the liver for cleaning. The liver separates the alcohol from the blood and turns it into acetaldehyde, then further neutralizes it by turning it into acetyl acid. Yes, your liver turns your alcohol intake into vinegar. But when you drink more than your liver can metabolize, the alcohol starts affecting neurotransmitters in the brain. One neurotransmitter known as GABA is responsible for suppressing your reactions and decision-making processes.
Take the quiz from Health IQ below. The quiz will help you learn more about the biochemistry that goes on when you drink alcohol. It’s amazing what happens in the body when alcohol and other organic chemicals are introduced into the bloodstream.
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