Alcohol can increase anxiety



Feelings of anxiety can be so overwhelming that you might feel the urge to have a cocktail, a 'hard earned beer', or a glass of red to help you relax.


Although this may work in the short term, alcohol actually changes the levels of serotonin and other neurotransmitters in the brain, making your symptoms worse. In fact, you may feel more anxious after the alcohol wears off.


This may not be the news that you want to hear but reducing or completely avoiding alcohol is a relatively simple solution to reducing anxiety and by doing so your body and mind will have more opportunity to recover and come back into balance.


Unfortunately alcohol also depletes many of important minerals and vitamins including:


  • B1 - which is important for energy production and brain function

  • B2 - important for metabolism and energy production

  • B6 - deficiency is linked with depression, anxiety, PMS and anaemia

  • Folic acid - important for cell growth, detoxification and neurotransmitter production

  • Vitamin C - important for the health of our skin and bones

  • Vitamin D - required for good bone health, healthy immune function, and mental stability

  • Vitamin E - a deficiency can contribute to atherosclerosis and worsen period pain

  • Vitamin K - required for a healthy immune response and prevents excessive bleeding

  • Calcium - required for balanced mood and energy as well as good bone health

  • Magnesium - required for the metabolism of sugar, and the production of neurotransmitters

  • Zinc - is an powerful antioxidant and is required for neurotransmitter synthesis

  • Iron - required not just for red blood cell production but is needed to create serotonin!

  • Selenium - is a powerful antioxidant critical to a healthy immune system and thyroid function

  • Tyrosine - this amino acid is the precursor to dopamine, our happy hormone!

Alcohol may calm your nerves in the short term but long term it can cause significant problems. If anxiety is an issue for you then I encourage you to nurture your body with healthy food and beverages and obstain from alcohol as much as possible until your body is stronger. If you do decide indulge then be sure to take good care of your nutrition in the days that follow.


This article is part of my series on 12 ways to calm anxiety. If you would like to read about some of the other tools that I recommend to my clients to help them reduce anxiety then please have a read through the other blogs in the series.


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