How Alcohol Affects Your Gut Health – Zenwise How Alcohol Affects Your Gut Health – Zenwise
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How Alcohol Affects Your Gut Health

Whether a cold beer on a hot summer day or a craft cocktail at your favorite watering hole, imbibing is woven into our culture. But what do those spirits do to the trillions of bacteria living in your gut?

Microbiome science is still relatively new in the world of research. But one thing is certain: a happy gut is essential for proper digestion, immunity, and mental health. Unfortunately, alcohol can throw this delicate balance out of whack.

Scientists are beginning to unpack the relationship between drinking and the good and bad bacteria in your gut. Please note that most of the research has focused on folks who drink regularly and heavily. Let’s check out the…


Latest scientific findings

According to a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), alcohol consumption can disrupt the composition of gut bacteria, leading to a condition called dysbiosis. This imbalance in gut flora has been linked to a host of digestive issues, including bloating, diarrhea, and even more severe conditions like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

It doesn’t stop there. Another study published in the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) sheds light on how alcohol can weaken the intestinal barrier, aka the protective lining of our gut. When this barrier is compromised, harmful substances like toxins and bacteria can leak into the bloodstream, triggering inflammation and potentially damaging other organs. For more info on leaky gut syndrome and what can help, click here.


Can cutting back on booze improve gut health?

What does this mean for you? Well, it’s time to reconsider that third round of cocktails. Limiting alcohol intake can be a game-changer for your gut health. By giving your body a break from booze, you’re allowing your gut microbiome to restore balance and strengthen defenses against potential invaders.

According to the New York Times, researchers have examined the microbiomes of people who have been treated for alcohol use disorder and found that within two to three weeks after the people stopped drinking, their gut microbes started to show signs of recovering.

But hey, we’ve all been there—maybe one too many drinks at a friend’s birthday bash or a spontaneous night out. So, let’s learn…


Four ways to nurse a morning after gut

  1. Hydration is vital: Alcohol is notorious for dehydrating the body, so make sure to guzzle down plenty of water to replenish lost fluids and flush out toxins.
  2. Gut-friendly foods: Load up on yogurt, kefir, and fermented veggies. They are rich in probiotics, which can help replenish beneficial bacteria in your gut and soothe any inflammation caused by last night’s blowout.
  3. Fiber for the win: Load up on fruits, veggies, and whole grains to get your digestive system back on track. Fiber acts like a broom, sweeping away toxins and waste from your gut and promoting regular bowel movements.
  4. Sleep: Give your body some much-needed rest. Alcohol can wreak havoc on your sleep cycle, so prioritize catching up on those Zzz’s to help your body recover fully.


What about digestive enzymes?

When you imbibe, the alcohol is absorbed from your small intestine into the veins, carrying blood to your stomach and bowels. During this time, ethanol, the active ingredient in alcohol, is sent to the brain, activating the intoxicating effects.

After your stomach and bowels completely absorb the glass of cheer, it is carried to your liver for further metabolic breakdown. It is met by alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) and aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH) enzymes. 

These enzymes are responsible for breaking down alcohol's toxic properties for later elimination. Your body is ridding itself of these toxins, and those enzymes are getting a workout and not working as efficiently as you might hope. Read more about this process in What You Need To Know About Digestive Enzymes and Alcohol. 

Digestive Enzymes, from Zenwise, can help bump up critical enzymes needed to metabolize alcohol and more. It’s proven that replenishing digestive enzymes is crucial to healing and rebuilding a less-than-optimal intestinal lining (leaky gut).


Have questions about other digestive supplements in the Zenwise® line? Our customer service team is ready to help at or M-F from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST at (800) 940-1972.

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