Truth About What Alcohol Does To Your Body

Aside from bodily harm, alcohol has been linked to depression, anxiety, social withdrawal, violent behaviour, motor vehicle accidents, suicide, domestic violence and even drowning. As if that’s not enough, alcohol does unbelievable damage to the brain and liver. Pretty much every part of the body is affected negatively from excessive drinking.

From the first sip when alcohol is consumed around 33% of it get absorbed immediately into the blood, through the stomach lining. The remaining alcohol is absorbed more slowly into the blood, through the small intestine. Once in the bloodstream, alcohol diffuses into almost every biological tissue in the body because cell membranes are highly permeable. Right from that first sip alcohol affects the body, starting with the brain, what follows is an explanation of the effects alcohol has on various parts of the body….. 

The Brain

The moments you don’t remember from the wild night before – that is temporary amnesia. Keep it up and you can develop Wernicke- Korsakoff Syndrome (WKS), a memory- impairing, vision and speech affecting seizure disorder. This may mean you won’t be able to form new memories, involuntary mumbling and constant twitching eyes. Drinking also releases two naturally occurring neurotransmitters dopamine (responsible for pleasure) and GABA (responsible for calming the brain down). Too much of these neurotransmitters can lead to shortness of breath, high blood pressure, increased heart rate, delusions, hallucinations, spasms and increased levels of both aggression and depression.

The Liver

The liver turns alcohol into something called acetaldehyde, which is toxic and can cause cancer. Excess drinking causes the liver to accumulate fat which can lead to fatty liver disease. A liver that has become clogged with fat cannot perform at an efficient level which affects the rest of the body. Cirrhosis of the liver can also occur when the liver cells become to damaged that they cannot regenerate. Once this has occurred if a person does not stop drinking, they will experience liver failure which is extremely fatal.


Alcohol consumption raises the risk for breast cancer. Research suggests that even so much as one drink a day may increase a persons risk for breast cancer. Estrogen levels are raised when alcohol is consumed, and an increased estrogen level is a risk factor for developing breast cancer.


Alcohol consumption makes the stomach produce more acid than usual which can cause gastritis and also alcohol created irritation and inflammation in the stomach lining which can lead to ulcers and bleeding of the stomach. If and when the stomach lining becomes torn, it can lead to anaemia.


Heavy drinking can be very hard on the heart. It causes cardiomyopathy which is the stretching and drooping of heart muscle. It causes myocarditis, which is inflammation of the heart muscle and it also causes arrhythmia which is an irregular heartbeat. When alcohol is consumed, it raises blood pressure and blood lipids. This increases the risk of heart attack, hypertension, raised cholesterol and stroke.


Excessive drinking can accelerate the rate of bone deterioration and increase the risk for bone fracture and osteoporosis. Calcium is important for strong, dense bones and when alcohol is consumed it acts as a diuretic and flushes calcium from bones making them weaker and more susceptible to fracture.


Alcohol affects the central nervous system causing short- term effects like slurred speech, blurred vision, weakened muscles, decreased reaction time and impaired memory. When alcohol is consumed excessively, it can cause cell damage in the central nervous system creating a condition known as neuropathy. This causes alternating feelings of weakness, burning pain and numbness in the feet and hands.

In conclusion, alcohol is not friendly to the body. While your mind may find its effects fun, your body does not. So try not to over do it and if the habit grows or your find yourself having a hard time stopping after just one glass, the cumulative effects can seriously add up.

What Is BMI?

BMI is a calculation that divides people into 1 of 4 categories:

  1. People who are underweight (with a score of less than 18.5 and 24.9 – normal weight)
  2. People who are over weight (with a score of 25 to 25.9)
  3. People who are obese (with a score of 30 or greater)

Basing this calculation on height and weight ALONE however does not take into account a persons bone, muscle or fat proportions. E.G – A person with great muscle tone and low fat is more likely to have a higher BMI compared to someone with higher fat and lower muscle tone. This happens because muscle is 4X as dense as fat tissue. Many professional athletes like AFL players BMIs would place them in the obese category when they’re actually in better shape than the average person. 

Studies by researchers have revealed how ineffective BMI is, as well as the number of people who may be inaccurately deemed overweight or obese. Doctors and patients may have to turn to alternative methods to accurately assess healthy weight ranges. There are many methods to measure body composition ranging from simple, at- home techniques to complex procedures. If you’re thinking of opting out of relying on the not so accurate BMI scale, here are some alternative modes of measurement to see what works for you.

  • Skin Calipers – This tool can be used to clamp sections of fat off of the body and measure body composition accurately and within a few minutes. A skin- fold assessment can be done using 3,4 or 7 different parts of the body such as the abdominals, arms, thighs and back.
  • Tape Measure – To measure stand straight and place the tape measure around your mid section just above your hip bones alone the belly button. Relax, do not suck in your gut and do not compress the tape tightly around the waist.
  • DEXA (Dual- Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry) – Think X – rays only detect broken bones? A DEXA scan exposes patients to X- Ray beams of differing intensities. Experts use it to measure bone mineral density alongside body composition. Participants lie still on a table while a machine arm passes over their entire body. This arms a high and a low energy X-ray beam. By Measuring the absorption of each beam into the parts of the body, technicians can get readings for bone mineral density, lean body mass and fat mass. Also because the machine scans body parts individually the test can also break down body composition per limb, so you could confirm suspicious that your right leg is indeed just a bit stronger than your left.
  • 3-D Body Scan – You’ll see this more readily available and accessible this year. Many can scan your body, take circumference measurements of different body parts and then track your body fat via a corresponding app, they can also tell your muscle mass. The mPort which is $5 a month for the app subscription creates a 3-D image of your body using infrared light and circumference measurements. You can find these machines at shopping centres.

Regardless of which metric you go with, resist the urge to test on a weekly basis. Wait at least 6-8 weeks before re-measuring your BF%. Remember body comp should be just one metric on the road to health and fitness. Sleep quality, energy levels and happiness should also take priority – so don’t make body fat the entire focus of your training.

Why Am I SO Tired All The Time?

Most of the time, we are right – about complaining and blaming our exhaustion from living a too busy lifestyle. If this sounds like you and you do find yourself asking “Why am I so tired?” – don’t put it off. Get to it straight away and try to make some lifestyle changes. Get more sleep, trim you social calendar, eat more wholesome foods, drink more water, take a multivitamin and cut back on caffeine and alcohol. If you are still feeling the symptoms of fatigue after those changes – seek some professional help.

  1. ANEMIA – The fatigue caused by anemia is the result of a lack of red blood cells, which brings oxygen from your lungs to your tissues and cells. You may feel weak and short of breath. Anemia may be caused by an iron or vitamin deficiency, blood loss, internal bleeding, or a chronic disease such a rheumatoid artiritis, cancer or kidney failure.

The Symptoms: Feeling tired all the time is a major one. Others include extreme weakness, difficulty sleeping, lack of concentration, rapid heartbeat, chest pains and headaches. Simple exercise, such as climbing the stairs or walking short distances, can cause fatigue.

2. THYROID DISEASE – When your thyroid hormones are out of whack, even everyday activities will wipe you out. The thyroid gland, about the size of the knot on a man’s tie, is found in the front of the neck and produces hormones that control your metabolism. Too much thyroid hormone (hyperthyroidism) and metabolism speeds up. Too little (hypothyroidism) and metabolism slows down.

The Symptoms: Hyperthyroidism causes muscle fatigue and weakness, which you may notice first in the thighs. Other symptoms include unexplained weight loss, feeling warm all the time, increased heart rate, shorter and less frequent menstrual flows and increased thirst. Hyperthyroidism is most commonly diagnosed in women in their 20s and 30s, but it can occur in older women and men too. It can cause fatigue, an inability to concentrate, muscle soreness (even with minor activity). Other symptoms include weight gain due to water retention, feeling cold all the time (even in warm weather), heavier and more frequent menstrual flows and constipation.

3. DIABETES – More people may not know they even have diabetes. Sugar, also called glucose, is the fuel that keeps your body going. That means trouble for people with type 2 diabetes who can’t use glucose properly, causing it to build up in the blood. Without enough energy to keep the body running smoothly, people with diabetes often notice fatigue as one of the first warning signs.

The Symptoms: Aside from feeling tired all the time, other signs include excessive thirst, frequent urination, hunger, weight loss, irritability, yeast infections and blurred vision.

4. DEPRESSION – Depression is a major illness that affects the way we sleep, eat and feel about ourselves and others.  Without treatment the symptoms can last for weeks, months or even years.

The Symptoms: We don’t all experience depression in the same way. But commonly depression can cause decreased energy, changes in sleeping and eating patterns, problems with memory and concentration and feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness and negativity.

5. CHRONIC FATIGUE – People who suffer from CFS feel too tired to carry on with their normal activities and are easily exhausted with little exertion.

The Symptoms: Other signs include headache, muscle and joint pain, weakness, tender lymph nodes and an inability to concentrate. Chronic fatigue syndrome remains puzzling because it has no known cause.

6. SLEEP APNEA – If you wake up feeling tired no mater how much rest you think you got then you may have this sleep disrupting problem. Sleep apnea is a disorder characterised by brief interruptions of breathing during sleep. In the most common type, obstructive sleep apnea, your upper airway actually closes or collapses for a few seconds which alerts your brain to wake you up to begin breathing again. Someone with obstructive sleep apnea may stop breathing again or may stop breathing dozens or even hundreds of times a night.

The Symptoms: Sleep apnea is often signalled by snoring and is generally followed by tiredness the next day. Because sleep apnea can lead to heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke – it’s important to be tested.


Balancing Work & Social Life + Health

Beat the burnout – and make more time for the activities and people that matter most to you! If you’re finding it more challenging than ever to juggle the demands of your job and the rest of your life, YOU ARE NOT ALONE! Many people are putting in extra hours or using their smart phones to be on call when they’re not physically at work. Even if you don’t have much control over the hours you have to work, you can ask yourself – “In what other ways am I bringing greater enjoyment into my life?” Focus your time and attention on things you can control.

Read these tips for maintaining a successful balance between your professional and personal lives and get ready to enjoy the holidays – without obsessing over the work you left behind!

  1. Plan Ahead. Effective prior planning can really help to remove some stress from your plate. The more you achieve now, the less you’ll need to worry about when the holiday season is actually here. Prioritise all the tasks/ projects/ assignments you have in the next couple of months based on their deadlines and priority. On a Friday night once you’ve finished work for the week and aren’t sure what else you can do – use that spare time to chip away at the things on your list.
  2. Schedule Everything. For some reason we still let work take way more priority which is hardly balance. Yes, you need to pay the bills and uphold our professional reputation but you also need time to recharge, relax and decompress. Instead of using your calendar to pencil in work meetings, also mark your personal and social engagements. Things like a family movie, catching up with an old friend that you still haven’t gotten around to or cleaning your room  – you should mark them in your calendar too, on the date and the time you plan to do them. The key is just to stick to it!
  3. Say “No”. Sometimes we do end up working too much, simply because we have too much to do. If your manager approaches you with a new project idea, instead of enthusiastically agreeing immediately, take some time to look at your current commitments and workload. If you have the slightest bit of hesitation, you might want to think twice before agreeing to take that extra work on.
  4. Be Intentional. You might think scrolling through your emails and checking your phone in the middle of family dinner as effective multi- tasking. But you’re actually just working constantly. Even worse, these frequent work distractions are causing you to miss out o valuable quality time with your loved ones. If you want to achieve successful work/ life balance especially around the holidays – then you need to make an effort to be intentional with your time. You don’t take personal phone calld or online shop while you’re at work, so apply this same rule to your home life. Don’t allow yourself to check emails or make work- related phone calls when you should be enjoying a relaxing holiday.

Truth be told – most of you will still need to work during the holidays. Perhaps you get a few days out of the office, but it will never compare to that relaxing break you got when you were in school. Maintaining an adequate balance between your personal and professional lives is always a challenge. It can become extra difficult during holiday season, when you feel an increased desire for more personal and family time. Try out these tips to stick to all of your work deadlines, while still being able to enjoy the holidays.

Tips For Not Over-Indulging This Festive Season

Healthy living is really about enjoying everything you love – in moderation!! The temptation to over-indulge in food and drink that you wouldn’t usually have is REAL and way more present towards the end of the year. Here are some top nutrition tips to get you through all the celebrations feeling satisfied and strong (without the overindulgence!)

  1. Make Smarter Choices When Eating Out. You can ask for the salad dressings on the side and use a simple olive oil and lemon to drizzle onto salad instead. Load your plate with as many vegetables/ salads as you can and ensure you accompany it with some lean chicken or meat.
  2. Be Careful With Canapes. Parties mean more catering and more canapes so be smart with selecting your finger food. Opt for grilled proteins rather than fried, and fresh or raw vegetables instead of rich sauces. Try to keep track of how much you have eaten as well, so you don’t overdo portion sizes.
  3. Eat A Protein Rich Snack Before You Go Out. Arriving at a party absolutely starving is just asking for a food baby. Anything and everything in sight will be eaten and your healthy choices fly out the window. Try and have a protein rich snack before any Christmas parties such as boiled eggs, hummus and raw veggies, Greek yogurt with nuts and seeds, or a sugar free protein ball!
  4. It Is Okay To Say No! If you are offered a less healthy option that you don’t feel comfortable with be confident and politely reject. You could even help your family and friends by cooking meals that prioritise health.
  5. Enjoy Your Holiday Treats In Moderation. Try not to deprive yourself, you’ll only be frustrated and more likely to overeat later. Instead, commit to one especially indulgence holiday item and savour it mindfully.

If you do end up going all out – move on and don’t let it ruin you holiday! Focus on the real reason for the season – it’s not food!

The Most Effective Way To Train In The Heat

Even if Bikram yoga is your idea of hell, sweating through an outdoor workout session during the summer time may actually be a big fitness advantage. We are sure that some of you may be missing training in the cooler weather, but pushing yourselves to get up to train in the summer heat could help improve your performance in running, cycling or any cardio based activities. As long as you are taking the right precautions, workouts in warmer weather can help train for an endurance event like Tough Mudder or Spartan Race. Hot weather training may even eclipse high- altitude training when it comes to improving your performance.


Tips For Working Out In The Heat!

Elevating your core body temperature so much that you almost faint during a workout is not going to give you any street credit so it’s up to you to know your limits. You just need to listen to your body!

  1. Drink Up! The warmer it gets, the more you sweat, so you must make sure you are replacing all those fluids as you workout in such extreme weather. Make sure you are drinking water before, during and even hours after your workout. If you are training for less than an hour – water should be fine but anything more intense will require sports drinks to get those carbohydrates and electrolytes replaced.
  2. Slip, Slop, Slap! Even on days when the sun isn’t out and about, it is very important to always bring sunscreen, wear a hat and train undercover when you can.
  3. Humidity. Humidity is also a huge factor to take into account. The way in which the body cools itself during exercise is through sweat. Sweat hits the skins surface and it evaporates to cool the body. In a humid environment, you don’t experience as much of that evaporative cooling effect because the environment is already pretty saturated with fluid.
  4. Try Not To Go Overboard.. Understand that you can still be in good shape without heat acclimating. Try keep the intensity at a moderate pace and not too overboard during the first couple of hot workouts.
  5. Wear breathable clothing! Nothing worse than feeling even more warmer due to your track pants or thermal long sleeve tops! Time to get the t-shirts and shorts back out whilst also remembering to wear sun protection!

Tips To Bounce Back After The Long Weekend

If you are one to over indulge over a short break and find it quite hard to get back on track after diving head first into fast food, alcohol and not enough sleep (or too much sleep) after the break – then follow these tips to quickly overcome all of damage you may have caused your body.


1. Don’t Beat Yourself Up New days, mean new starts. There is nothing that will hold you back from being the best version of you that you can be more than beating yourself up about the past. It is not effective and will continue to make you feel even worse. Starting the day with the mantra ‘fresh start’ can be helpful.

2. Get Back To Your Routine ASAP. Try not to sleep into 12pm on your first day back on the job. Structure is key, if you use structure your body will take care of itself. If your normal daily routine involves throwing your phone at the wall when your alarm goes off for 6am bootcamp – then throwing your phone at the wall is what you should do! (Not really – LOL, I hope you don’t actually do that every morning). The sooner you start getting back into your usual routine, the easier it will get and the sooner you will return to your usual structured day.

3. Start The Morning With MOVEMENT, MINDFUL EATING an MINIMISING. We all know that exercise can help activate serotonin the “feel good” chemicals that help regulate your mood – and when you’re feeling happier you are more likely to make healthier choices! When sitting down to breakfast, eat mindfully (meaning slowly, with minimal distractions)Cut out processed foods as much as you can throughout the week.

4. Expose Yourself To Bright Lights. Bright lights centres the SCN a part of your brain that controls your internal time clock. Sitting outside to read the paper, taking a walk or jog, or even waking up with a bright reading light if it’s cloudy outside. By getting bright light early in the AM, your body will recognise a more stable waking and sleeping pattern after a weekend of staying up late and sleeping in.

5. Drink Lots Of Water. When it comes to counteracting a weekend of drinking, of course the best recommendation is to HYDRATE! Days of sun and alcohol can leave you feeling depleted, so consider carrying around a water bottle during the day. Try to avoid salty foods, instead of snacking on pretzels or potato chips – opt for some nuts of a mandarin.

There you have it! Keep these tips in mind for the next time you have a long weekend coming up 😀

How Much Water Should You Be Drinking?

If you’re looking for optimal health, especially if you’re out there training hard – then you need to be drinking an adequate amount of water. Your brain will only tell you that you’re thirsty long after your body actually needs it. When you work out and sweat, your body loses fluid that needs to be replaced, or else your muscles will suffer and your workout will suffer. and the rate you actually recover will also suffer. Because your body will often process that liquid before it’s able to put it back where it belongs, you need to drink MORE than normal after a workout.


  • Prevents a dry mouth – quite annoying when trying to work out
  • A well hydrated athlete can feel stronger and workout for longer and more effectively.
  • You will have more energy, and the exercises you struggled with when dehydrated will seem much easier.
  • Promotes cardiovascular health – your heart must work harder to pump the reduced amount of blood and get enough oxygen to your cells, which makes everyday activities like walking up stairs, as well as exercise more difficult
  • Keeps your body cool – your body releases heat by expanding blood vessels close to the skins surface (this is why your face gets red during exercise), resulting in more blood flow and more heat dissipated into the air. When you’re dehydrated, it takes a higher environmental temperature to trigger blood vessels to widen, so you stay hotter
  • Water helps muscles and joins work better – it is important for lubricating joints and when you are well hydrated the water inside and outside the cells of contracting muscles provides adequate nutrients and removes waste efficiently which enhances performance.


Firstly, you should make sure you are hydrated to begin with. Before working out drink about 500mls of water. During exercise sip 170mls of water every 15 minutes (240mls if exercising in extreme heat and you’re sweating buckets). For every 0.45 kilograms of water weight lost, replace it by drinking about 500mls of water or sports drink. Another good way to monitor that you’ve gotten enough water is in the bathroom. If you have a large amount of light- coloured urine, then you’re hydrated. If it’s dark, then you’ll know you need to drink more before, during and after your workout.


It’s possible to to drink too much water, but difficult to do. Hyponatremia usually found in endurance athletes. Diluted from too much water and sodium levels drop to dangerously low levels. This can lead to nausea, headaches, confusion and fatigue.

So, after reading this blog maybe – had it occurred to you that you are thirsty? Guess what, by the time you have felt this sensation of being thirsty throughout your day YOU ARE ALREADY DEHYDRATED! So really, your body is composed of roughly 60% water – so it’s pretty important so keep hydrated since nearly all of your systems will not function as well without the proper water intake.

Are You Wearing The Appropriate Shoes?

Improper workout footwear can cause a number of injuries. Besides the more obvious injuries, including ankle strains and fractures, bunions and corns. Wearing the wrong type of shoe can keep you from performing your best. When you’re putting in the hard work to get better, the last thing you need is your shoe to be holding you back.

The main differences between running shoes and training shoes are sole flexibility and the heel drop. With the sole flexibility, we know that running shoes are for heel-to-toe movement. Training shoes are for multi- directional movement, especially lateral (side-to-side) movement. The sole of a training shoe is more flexible to allow a wide range of movement. With the heel drop in a shoe you can usually tell a shoe is a training shoe by how much flatter the shoe is. The technical term here is the “heel drop” which refers to the distance from the heel height to the toe height. The higher heel drop in running shoe comes from added support and cushioning.


Training shoes support a range of movement including: cutting, stopping, breaking, jumping and changing direction quickly. This makes a training shoe versatile and good for many different types of workouts. They have a comfortable upper and flexible mid sole for multi- directional movement. A lower heel drop puts you closer to the ground to push off and pivot. Training shoes are lightweight for easy and efficient movement. Training shoes can be used for:

  • High intensity gym classes and outdoor boot camps (cushioning for high- impact and run training)
  • Weight lifting (heel support so you can go lower into squats, and then stand up)
  • Strength training (a training specific last makes for extra space in the forefoot)
  • Agility training (grooves and out sole patterns for traction during plyometric and multi directional movement)

Short distances on a treadmill is also fine, but anything longer than 5km is usually better with a running shoe on for shock absorption.


This is more obvious – running shoes are for running! Running shoes protect your feet when pounding the pavement over and over again. Where a training shoe helps with side-to-side movement, running shoes help with forward movement. Running shoes also provide more cushioning and support, which often translates into a higher heel drop. This makes for more comfort during long distance runs when you need lots of shock absorption.

Running and training shoes provide specific types of support to prevent injury. Here are some of the ways a mismatch of shoe to workout may increase your chances of injury:

  • Running shoes for lateral movement – higher heel drops make for a higher chance of ankle sprains during lateral movement.
  • Running shoes for plyometric workouts (like high explosive movements- squat jumps, lunge jumps, box jumps) – the extra cushioning and support from running shoes can keep you from landing properly and can increase your chances of a knee or ankle injury.
  • Running in training shoes – without the cushioning and support of running shoes, you can increase your chances of getting plantar fasciitis.
  • Not enough running support – stress fractures can occur from running without proper support, which can happen when using minimalist shoes lacking cushioning to absorb shock.
  • The wrong type of running shoes – tendonitis can happen when you aren’t wearing the running shoe for your pronation type, whether it’s an overpronator needing  a more structured shoe or a neutral runner wearing a shoe with too much arch support
  • Lifting weights in cushioned shoes – it’s best to do lifting with little cushioning.
  • Shoe size – Too small of shoes can cause your toenails to bruise and fall off – YUCK. You should be sizing up at least a half size to account for the natural movement and swelling of your feet during workouts. You may also need to find the right shoe width for your comfort.

The best way to find out the most suitable shoe for you, it to head into a store, such as ASICS, or Athlete’s Foot and get a proper fitting. They will do sizing as well as a gait analysis.

Top Benefits Of Dogs On Human Health

An apple a day may or may not actually keep the doctor away, but what about an animal a day? That’s a different story – when it comes to pet ownership, there are a number of proven health benefits for people, including physical, mental and emotional improvements. From enhancing social skills to decreasing a person’s risk of heart attack.


  • Dogs don’t just fill your heart; they actually make it stronger. Having a canine companion is linked to lower blood pressure, reduced cholesterol and decreased triglyceride levels, which contribute to better overall cardiovascular health and fewer heart attacks. Dog owners who do have heart attacks have better survival rates following the events.
  • Pets provide some consistency to our lives. Caring for a pet can significantly affect our routine and gives us something to do and look forward to each day.
  • Dog owners are way more likely to get the recommended amount of exercise per week than non- dog owners. People love being outside with their dog and helps them to be more active, which can also lead to help you lose weight.
  • Decreased blood pressure and reduced stress levels have been shown when a dog is present.


  • Children often turn to their pet for comfort if a friend or family member dies or leaves the family. Grieving adults who did not have a close source of human support were also found to have less depression if they had a pet.
  • Pet owners tend to feel less afraid of being a victim of crime when walking with a dog or having a dog in the home.
  • Pets can help us relax and focus our attention away from our problems and worries
  • Dogs can lift our mood and make us feel less lonely. They decrease our feelings of loneliness and isolation by providing companionship to all generations.


  • As we age, it becomes harder to get out and meet people. Dog owners tend to speak with other dog owners during walks. Dog owners in particular, tend to be a little more extroverted or outgoing. When you start to engage them about their companion animal, people tend to open up and really blossom because they want to share stories about their favourite friend.
  • Dogs create a sense of closeness and well- being. Families surveyed before and after they acquired a pet reported feeling happier after adding a pet to the family.
  • Dogs can promote interaction. Residents in long- term care facilities were more likely to attend activity sessions when an animal was going to be present.