Tequila’s Surprising Negative Effects
On a hot day at the beach, most people like a cold margarita or a tequila sunrise to wash down a dish of eggs Benedict for brunch, but what about the next day? Not at all. Sure, tequila tastes wonderful, but it can leave you feeling quite groggy—especially if you’re downing shots or mixing it with sugary, calorie-dense drinks.
Apart from feeling bloated and tired, there’s a lot more that happens to your body when you drink tequila.
It’s not all bad if you enjoy your favourite tequila cocktails every now and then, as long as you don’t make it a habit to drink tequila on a regular basis. As with drinking any booze too often or in large quantities, the consequences might add up and pose health issues in the future.
A poor blood sugar response is possible.
“A research found that when healthy males ingested 1 ounce of tequila for 30 days, their insulin sensitivity was reduced, resulting in higher blood glucose levels,” explains Kelly Jones MS, RD, CSSD, LDN.
Because insulin helps the body deliver energy into cells, low sensitivity can lead to a build-up of glucose and lipids in the bloodstream, rather than going into the cells where they can be used properly.
“This contributes to the risk of both diabetes and heart disease over time,” Jones explains, so drink tequila in moderation to protect your heart and maintain blood sugar control.
You run the risk of damaging your arteries.
“Higher levels of homocysteine, a chemical that signals damage to artery walls, were seen in the same study [described above] on healthy males after 30 days of moderate tequila consumption,” Jones explains. When your arteries get damaged, plaque builds up more easily, increasing your risk of heart disease, stroke, high blood sugar, and other cardiac disorders.
Of course, you can have a margarita or two with your pals when you go out to drink, but keep the quantity of drinks moderate and take a few days off from the hard stuff during the week. (Drink water or a glass of red wine, which contains antioxidants!)
You may develop dry, aged skin.
You know how you wake up with a bloated face, bags under your eyes, and dry skin after a night of tequila consumption? That’s because you’re dehydrated—yes, tequila can ruin your skin’s health and radiance.
“Tequila, like any other form of alcohol, acts as a diuretic both during consumption and in the days after. While this may cause thirst, it also dehydrates your cells, causing your skin to dry out “Jones claims. This also emphasises wrinkles, making you appear older and fatigued, she adds.
To keep yourself and your skin hydrated, drink tequila with water in each glass. Also, think about moisturising face products—ask your physician for advice.
Your stomach irritates you.
“Alcohol irritates the stomach lining, and it has a more pronounced effect when consumed as hard liquor rather as beer or wine,” Jones notes. “When the lining becomes irritated, heartburn, ulcers, and poor digestion can develop over time.”
This is unhealthy for your gut and can cause tummy problems.
“In the end, this can have a negative influence on the lower digestive tract and the beneficial bacteria we want to safeguard,” she explains. Good gut health is also vital for maintaining a strong immune system (goodbye common cold!) and regular bowel movements.
The quality of your sleep degrades.
Even if a few drinks help you fall asleep quickly (though not for the correct reasons! ), the quality of your sleep may be poor, and you may wake up frequently throughout the night, not obtaining the REM cycle sleep you need to function well the next day.
“It’s more like ‘passing out’ than sleeping to get some rest. One night of circadian rhythm disruption may not seem like a big concern, but overeating can interrupt sleep for up to 48 hours, and regular consumption can wreak havoc on your rest processes in the long run “Jones clarifies. So, set a timer for yourself to power down, and go a few nights without tequila to really catch some Zzz’s.