Drinking unhealthy, intoxicating liquids can be fun, reduces stress, energizes you, and is tasty. It can also give you a headache out of hell the next day, and your liver doesn’t love it as much as you do. Your worst drinking habits will soon manifest themselves in other health issues.
Your liver is a quiet defender of your health; it gets rid of toxins, stores nutrients, and filters your blood. It has a lot of responsibility in keeping you healthy and getting rid of the bad stuff. But you also have a responsibility to take care of your liver, and some liquids and drinking habits may be highly damaging to your liver.
Worst drinking habits include drinking alcohol or soda drinks too often. Yes, these are the obvious culprits, but there are many other reasons why you could be damaging your liver even if you don’t drink alcohol. This guide will help you to become healthier, build water drinking habits, and protect your liver.
You Drink Alcohol Frequently
This is the main culprit that contributes to your worst drinking habits. Your liver breaks down the alcohol that you drink. Now think about what alcohol does to your body and mind – your liver takes it all, and it hates it all.
We need our liver to last a lifetime, and by drinking alcohol, your liver will get damaged (among a plethora of other problems that comes with alcoholism). Drinking alcohol responsibly will not only make you lose weight and be healthy but, most importantly, protect your liver against yourself.
After one night of binge drinking or just having a tad too much, your liver experiences fatty deposit build-up. This visceral fat will worsen over time and adversely affect your overall health. If you drink alcohol and your liver shows signs of damage, you should stop drinking immediately.
Whether you’re a red wine enthusiast, a beer connoisseur, or just enjoying a drink now and then, alcohol will cause damage to your liver and you shouldn’t take it lightly. Be responsible, and keep an eye on your alcohol use for your liver’s sake. A maximum of one drink per day is the limit. If you drink more than that, consider bringing about a positive change that will minimize the damage to your liver.
Alcohol addiction or too much drinking habit never gives you better health. Excessive drinking of pure alcohol can hamper your mental health, disease control, cholesterol, blood sugar, liver damage, heart disease, sleep hamper, and other alcohol use disorder.
If you are already addicted to heavy drinking then you should take addiction treatment for the betterment of your health. According to the World Health Organization, in there are about 3 million death per year due to excessive alcohol consumption.
Your Use Added Sugar in Your Soda Drink
Alcohol was on the top of this list for a good reason, but it is not the only beverage that is bad for your liver. If you are a fan of soft drinks, you are in as much danger as any frequent alcoholic drinker. Too much sugar in a diet can cause your liver to experience even more fatty buildup than alcohol, and lead to severe liver failure.
Known as a sugar bomb, you are literally at war with yourself by drinking too much soda and taking in too much sugar. Fatty liver disease is a common reaction your liver can go through if you are not watching your sugar-sweetened beverage intake. Like your mirror, your liver hates fat, but for your liver, fat is a significant health concern as some fat may filter through as blood triglycerides and other remains in the liver.
If you love your soda drinks, you can simply swap them around for diet soda which is not associated with fatty liver diseases. Of course, by canceling out soda completely from your diet, you will save your liver, and it will love you for it.
Not Taking Drinks that Contain Antioxidants (Not Drinking Antioxidants)
Mother nature knows best, and she will take care of you if you give her the chance. After what you’ve just read about sugary drinks and alcoholic beverages, you probably think water is the only alternative option. However, natural sugars are not as bad as you would think, and 100% of fruit juices actually protect your liver.
Orange juice and pomegranate juice, for instance, contain polyphenols. Polyphenols reduce oxidative stress and protect your liver from developing fatty liver disease. And no, it’s not going to help to add fruit juice to your alcohol; cocktails are not consumed for their fruit juice content, so don’t even try to talk it over with your liver!
So, get pomegranate and oranges and make yourself an all-natural 100% fruit juice. Studies have proven that drinking fruit juice for 12 weeks can improve liver function and add antioxidant capacity to support your liver health. It’s a no-brainer; remember that alcohol and sugar have addictive elements; even if you think you are not addicted, it will be difficult to quit it altogether. Stay strong, drink fruit juice and say hi to your new liver.
If winter is on the way and you are not feeling up to fruit juices you can opt for a couple of warmer options such as green tea, matcha, herbal tea, or coffee as they are also rich in antioxidants.
You Lean on Energy Drinks for a Boost
Energy drinks go hand in hand with the sugar bomb, although this is probably the nuclear sugar bomb. Look at the can and read up on all the ingredients; now, do research into them and throw them away. Many people have suffered from acute liver injury from drinking too many energy drinks. You also need to avoid these worst drinking habits.
Caffeine is not the culprit here; all the other ingredients in bold letters and funky fonts are causing you pain and could be eating away at your liver. Energy drinks don’t only have caffeine and other well-known energy ingredients; the sugar, colorants, and overall combination are what cause the effects.
Having one every now and then will not be that harmful to you, but the idea is that you should not overindulge and start to rely on them to get you through the day.
All in all, energy drinks are not the little innocent kicker upper that you thought it was.
You Drink Whole Milk Instead of Low Fat
Whole milk and low-fat milk don’t aren’t just different in what they could mean for your weight. Saturated fats are also bad for your liver, not just your body fat percentage. According to a study from the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, saturated fat destroys your liver by causing a fat buildup around this crucial organ.
A single cup of whole milk can contain up to 5 grams of saturated fat, which translates to 5 grams of liver poison. By swapping your whole milk for low-fat milk, you can save yourself from various liver diseases later in life. It also has fewer calories and higher amounts of vitamins than whole milk. As saturated fat is bad for your liver, it is also a significant factor in the risk of heart disease and elevated cholesterol levels.
Low-fat milk contains crucial nutrients such as vitamin B, potassium, phosphorus, vitamin D, and calcium. And guess what? It’s a great source of protein. For healthy bones and a healthy liver, choose low-fat milk.
You Aren’t Drinking Enough Water
Water is another one of mother nature’s perfect supplements. It provides us with the perfect amount of nutrients and flushes the bad stuff from our bodies. Sure, a glass of water is not something that you are going to enjoy in the sun or at a dinner party, but it’s healthy, and your liver needs it.
Drinking enough water is a natural aid to repairing and keeping your liver healthy. Drinking more water can also provide a lower risk of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Even if you never drank that much alcohol to start with, increased water intake can help break down other fats that are stored in your liver.
Water helps to carry nutrients and oxygen to your cells, flushes bacteria, prevents constipation, helps with blood pressure, and protects all your vital organs and tissues. Drinking about 2.7 liters of water each day can provide you will all these benefits, and so much more.
Save Your Liver
Opting for a glass of water at the restaurant, rather than joining your friends for a glass of wine is not the most exciting option. But remember, alcohol abuse is no joke, and you are helping your liver help you. That said, there is no need to quit soft drinks, alcohol, or whole milk entirely.
Just keep your alcohol consumption in moderation and make the necessary changes for a better, healthier you. With a healthier liver, you will start noticing the difference in the way you feel very soon. It’s important to remember that most foods and drinks that are bad for your liver are bad for your teeth, bones, and skin as well. With small adjustments, you will not only spare your liver but also improve your quality of life. Avoid these worst drinking habits and stay healthy in your life.
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Reinette Robbertze is a highly qualified professional in the health and nutrition industry, having completed both Journalism and Nutrition diplomas. With a remarkable portfolio of health blogs and magazine articles to her name, Reinette’s writing is fueled by her genuine passion for healthy living. Drawing on her academic background, Reinette delivers authentic and insightful information to her readers. Her engaging writing style, blended with personal anecdotes, creates an immersive experience that keeps readers engaged and informed. Keep following her work for the latest updates and informative articles on health and nutrition.