What Happens to Your Body When You Drink Beer for 1 Week?

Below is the account of American writer Jaime Alexis Stathis on The Healthy about the changes her body went through after drinking beer continuously for a week:


While conducting this experiment, I consulted with Dr. J. Wes Ulm, a trained physician and scientist from Harvard University and MIT (USA), to explain what was happening in my body.

When I decided to drink beer every day for a week, I had not had a single beer in about three weeks prior. I thought that with a fairly “clean alcohol” body, I would notice the effects of beer more clearly.

Illustration photo

I feel full

On the first day, I drank beer around 5pm right after finishing work. I had dinner and sat down to play crossword puzzles. When participating in the experiment, I chose to drink a type of beer brewed on a farm a few kilometers away from home. I noticed something that many people feel after drinking beer: feeling full.

Dr. Ulm said: “This is a common feeling caused by several factors. The carbonation process of beer can create a bloated feeling due to the beer foam generated from CO2. This makes the beer drinker feel full even without eating anything.”

Beer not only makes me full and not want to eat, but also hinders the body’s process of digesting nutrients. On the first night, I had dinner a little later because I no longer felt full from drinking beer. I didn’t sleep well, which could be due to drinking beer or having dinner later. Therefore, for the remaining time of the week, I drank beer after dinner or when I had eaten something.

Causes sleepiness

Dr. Ulm pointed out that alcoholic beverages have a sedative effect: “This often wears off at inconvenient times and keeps you awake in the middle of the night. The body will try to counteract the sleepiness caused by alcoholic beverages a few hours later by increasing stress hormones like cortisol and epinephrine.”

Beer also functions as a muscle relaxant and can exacerbate sleep apnea. Alcoholic beverages are diuretics, which interrupt our sleep when we have to go to the bathroom at night.

Feeling relaxed

Regardless of drinking beer before, during, or after dinner, I always feel relaxed after a few initial sips, which is part of the appeal of beer. Dr. Ulm explains: “There is solid evidence that alcoholic beverages act like GABA – a neurotransmitter that brings about a comfortable, relaxed feeling.”

This sounds ideal, but it’s not the reality. The above process can interfere with the natural production of GABA. Therefore, many people continue to want to consume more alcoholic beverages to restore the feeling of relaxation. However, experts caution against drinking a certain amount of beer to avoid adverse effects on the body.

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