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Is there energy in alcohol?

Updated: Jan 17, 2023

The active ingredient in alcoholic beverages is ethanol, a clear colourless, and flammable liquid which could certain cause an explosion!

However alcohol it is not an efficient source of energy for the body because it is metabolised differently than other nutrients.

While alcohol is not a source of energy in the same way that carbohydrates, proteins, and fats are alcohol is a source of calories, providing 7 calories per gram. However, ethanol is not a preferred source of energy for the body.

When you consume alcohol, it is absorbed into the bloodstream and travels to the liver, where it is metabolised. The liver converts most of the ethanol into acetaldehyde, a toxic substance, and then into acetate, which is then eliminated from the body. The process of metabolising ethanol produces energy, but it also takes away energy from the body's other metabolic processes, such as the metabolism of glucose, which is the body's preferred source of energy.

The body will preferentially use glucose as a source of energy before turning to ethanol, this is why high levels of alcohol consumption can lead to lower blood sugar levels, which can cause symptoms such as fatigue, dizziness, and confusion.

When you consume alcohol, your body will prioritise its metabolism over the metabolism of other nutrients, including carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. This means that alcohol can interfere with the body's ability to use other nutrients as energy and can potentially disrupt normal energy metabolism.

It is important to maintain a balanced diet that includes a variety of nutrients in order to provide the body with the energy it needs to function properly.

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