Alcohol Consumption Effects on Your Body

In this episode, I tackle the effects of alcohol consumption on your body and discover strategies to drink wisely while minimizing the downsides. I am joined by the insightful Sara Banta, owner of Accelerated Health Products and host of Accelerated Health Radio and TV.

Sara’s personal journey started when she hit rock bottom, facing Crohn’s disease, hormonal issues, PCOS, and heavy-metal toxicity. Determined to find answers and solutions outside of Western medicine, she uncovered traditional remedies that truly worked for her. Along the way, she received a life-altering wake-up call when her 9-year-old son was diagnosed with leukemia. This pivotal moment ignited Sara’s calling to shed light on the world of natural health.

In this episode, Sara and I dive deep into the effects of alcohol on the body, including its impact on the liver, digestion, hormonal health, and other vital functions. Together, we provide actionable strategies to help you drink with wisdom, such as reducing intake, tracking consumption, and resetting habits. Sara emphasizes the crucial role of a healthy liver in overall health and weight management, sharing insights into how you can support the liver with specific supplements and foods.

Whether you regularly consume alcohol or simply want to make informed decisions about drinking, this episode is a must-listen. Join me as we explore the significance of mindful food choices, the power of regular exercise, and the transformative impact of a positive mindset. Plus, be sure to take advantage of the special offer for a free group coaching session with Sara.

Let’s dive in.


00:03:08 – Changing habits can make a big difference
00:08:45 – Personal experience with alcohol and the decision to quit
00:12:56 – Alcohol increases stress and cortisol release
00:16:44 – Symptoms of estrogen dominance
00:17:40 – Three ways alcohol increases estrogen
00:19:20 – Negative impacts of alcohol on testosterone
00:21:42 – Alcohol disrupts the microbiome and causes leaky gut
00:24:30 – Alcohol disrupts neural circuits in the brain, leading to more alcohol consumption
00:26:00 – The ways that quitting alcohol can improve health symptoms and overall health
00:29:58 – What you can do to counteract the negative effects of alcohol
00:30:35 – Why you should do a liver cleanse
00:32:40 – Detox powder, electrolytes for dehydration to counteract the negative effects
00:33:40 – Maintaining good testosterone levels with HIIT, proper sleep, cleansing liver
00:35:20 – Access the free group coaching session and final thoughts on exercise
00:37:24 – The impact of alcohol on body composition
00:39:05 – Study: Sarcopenic Obesity

Freebies From Today’s Episode

Join Sara’s FREE Group Coaching Group & receive a coupon good at her website: Sara Banta Health. First, download the app Telegram here. Then, click here for free group coaching.

Use code JJIVIRGIN10 for 10% off anything at Accelerated Health Products.

Resources Mentioned in this episode

Learn more about Sara Banta

Shop Accelerated Health Products – Use code JJIVIRGIN10 for 10% off

Dry Farm Wines

Rhonda Patrick’s podcasts


Oura Ring

The Virgin Diet

DEXA body scan 

Tanita body-composition scale 

Study: Sarcopenic Obesity: An Emerging Public Health Problem

Sara Banta talks about what alcohol does to your body and how to reverse the damage

Article: 11 Health Benefits That Have Been Linked to Drinking Alcohol in Moderation

Click Here To Read Transcript

ATHE_Transcript_Ep 567_Sara Banta
JJ Virgin: [00:00:00] I am JJ Virgin, PhD Dropout. Sorry, mom, turn four time New York Times bestselling author. Yes. I’m a certified nutrition specialist, fitness Hall of Famer, and I speak at health conferences and trainings around the globe, but I’m driven by my insatiable curiosity and love of science to keep asking questions, digging for.
Answers and sharing the information that I uncover with as many people as I can, and that’s why I created the Well Beyond 40 podcast to synthesize and simplify the science of health into actionable strategies to help you thrive. In each episode we’ll talk about what’s working in the world of wellness.
From personalized nutrition and healing your metabolism to healthy aging and prescriptive fitness, join me on the journey to better health so you can love how you look and feel right now and have the energy to play full out at 100
alcohol should you or shouldn’t [00:01:00] you. You can find research to support either side of the story. So I’ll give you a little background for this episode because we’re gonna dig into that. In this episode, we’re gonna dig into what alcohol does to you and basically, sadly enough, it is a toxin in your system.
And then what you can do if you are gonna choose to drink, how you do it wisely. And I have a great guest to do this with me today. And in fact, what happened was I was looking at Sara Banta’s website, and I saw this blog about alcohol and I went, oh, I’ve been looking to really unpack this. Actually, what happened was when I met my husband, we just kind of fell into this routine where we would drink wine every night like we’d get done with all our work, and then we’d sit down and we’d have a glass of wine or two, and then fortunately I got connected with.
Todd White under the founders of Dry Farm Wines, he explained to me all the toxicity and the US wines. So we switched over to dry farms and [00:02:00] noticed a big shift when we did that, how much better we felt. But we still got in that habit of just having a bottle of wine every night. And then one of my girlfriends this year was like, you know, I just quit drinking.
I did a hundred day challenge. My girlfriend, Cynthia Garcia. A hundred day challenge. And I’m like, you, you are what? And so I thought, huh, that’s kind of interesting. And Tim and I just kinda looked at each other and went, let’s just quit drinking for a bit. So we just stopped. And the first thing I noticed was that my sleep improved dramatically.
I generally am not a good deep sleeper. It’s genetically an issue for me. I found out in 23 and me, every time I look at anything, you’re like, you don’t sleep, have great deep sleep. And I don’t. But I noticed my deep sleep and my H R V improved and I just had more energy. Plus I was getting stuff done at night that I wasn’t getting done before.
Now we’re going out for a walk, we’re doing sauna, we’re doing all sorts of stuff at night. And still, it wasn’t that I wasn’t gonna drink at all. I would have dry farms on occasion, et cetera. [00:03:00] So, but I have noticed what a big difference it is. So I do think that there’s something, something really important here to really look at those habits that you can fall into.
That may not be the best thing. One of my friends who’s an endocrinologist always says, habits dictate hormones. And, of course, hormones. We know we’re not a bank account where chemistry lab can make the big shift. So that’s what we’re gonna be talking about today, is how is alcohol metabolized?
What does it do to you and what’s the bigger impact of it? And then if you do wanna drink, how you can drink with minimal negative downside to your body because. Here’s the thing, you can research alcohol, and we’re gonna include this in the show notes at You’ll see positives and you’ll see negatives.
So how do you get the positives without the negatives? That’s what we’ll be looking at today. I’ve got Sara Banta, the owner of Accelerated Health Products, and the host of Accelerated Health Radio and TV here today. And she will be sharing her [00:04:00] experience with it, what got her interested in it, and why she decided to really tackle the subject.
And she doesn’t really drink much every once in a while. So what Sara does is help her clients and listeners reach their optimal state of health through proper frequency. Enhanced detox supplements, cutting edge technologies and modalities. 15 years ago, she had Crohn’s disease, hormonal issues, P C O S, heavy metal toxicity, and couldn’t get what she needed from western medicine, and that’s where she discovered natural solutions that worked.
She also had her nine year old son around the same time was diagnosed with leukemia. And that’s when she went, okay, bigger calling here. I’m going to really dig into natural healing. So now she serves her clients and listeners again with cutting edge protocols that combine scaler, frequency based supplements, Chinese medicine, healing devices, and much more to detox, reset, and rebuild their body, mind, and spirit.
She has a degree from Stanford in [00:05:00] economics and Psychology. Then she went to the Institute of Integrative Nutrition and the Invincible Wellness System. I always love these, you know, paths and I find for so many integrated practitioners, their own journey led them to just dig into what is out there that can help me heal.
So again, we are gonna dig into alcohol. There’s a reason she got so interested in it. I’m gonna share that. But again, you’ll be able to get the show notes at and I will be right back with Sara. I had been dying to dig into this topic, and again, I think we get asked all the time like, Alcohol, should you drink it?
Should you not drink it? And what I’ve really found is that you can look at it both ways. I can justify anything anyway. Like I can totally justify my, my coffee habit, my wine habit, et cetera. But I think it’s a really important subject to unpack to help people understand how we metabolize alcohol. You know who shouldn’t drink it, et [00:06:00] cetera.
And so Sara, when I was reading your blog about alcohol, I’m like, perfect. This is the guest I’ve been looking for. So I’m really thrilled that you’ve agreed to switch topics and dive into drinking with me so that we can really unpack the subject and help people figure out what’s the right decision for them.
So welcome and thank you in advance.
Sara Banta: I’m so excited to have this discussion. It’s one of my favorite topics, you know, the socially acceptable thing to do, right? But I have to laugh. When my husband and I were dating on date number one, I felt like I was on an interview because he said do you have any mental issues in your family?
No, but the reality is I have a lot of alcoholism and a lot of drug use in my family. So growing up in high school when all my friends were drinking, I was the sober driver. I mean, I, I drank a little bit and. I could feel it feels great, but I [00:07:00] always knew I had to be careful because I have the genetics to be addictive, whether it’s sugar or pot, or cocaine.
I never touched any of the hard stuff because I just knew that I couldn’t handle it. Well, fast forward to, I’m a mom of three. It took my third baby to make me start drinking coffee and make me start drinking alcohol because three kids kind of put me over the edge. I always laugh that three kids is a lot more than just one more than two.
JJ Virgin: Well, it is. You’re outnumbered. Like whenever anybody asks me after my two boys, so I had more, I go, no, you’re outnumbered. Yeah. Why would you do that?
Sara Banta: Exactly. And my husband would always have a couple drinks every night saying that he does not have an addictive personality. So you have me and then you have him.
But what I noticed as we were going along is my craving for alcohol was [00:08:00] increasing and increasing. I’ve had my D n A done, I actually process alcohol very well, so I don’t have a problem with that. But that has no relationship to your ability to stop drinking or, or your addictive personality. So I wanna make that clear.
Mm-hmm. That they are not the same. So, as I was going along, I. Started to get into intermittent fasting and a more low carb diet. High protein, I do promote, you know, more prioritizing protein and not necessarily a ketogenic high fat diet. Everyone’s different in their ability to process fat. But as I started doing that and using some of the supplements that I have created and, and come across, I realized I felt so good that I didn’t need the alcohol anymore.
And what I also then noticed is my husband was not drinking and he had no reason to stop other [00:09:00] than he was just feeling good. And you talk to my adult child who’s now in his twenties, he’s in college, but he doesn’t even really drink because he, he actually said this to me on New Year’s Day. He goes, mom, I function at such a high level.
It just brings me down. So the goal is to make you feel so good that you don’t even want it. But I wanna get into the downsides and the, and why people do drink and maybe give them opportunities to re-look at alcohol and what it’s doing to their body and maybe rethink it. And we’re not talking about the people that are drinking a bottle of wine a night.
We’re talking about just a couple drinks a week.
JJ Virgin: Good. I think that’s a good distinction because there’s definitely, like if you look at all of the studies, there’s a clear distinction between. The couple of of glasses a week versus the a bottle a night. So it’s important [00:10:00] distinction in that. And then, you know, you talked about addiction and when I lived in Palm Desert, you know, our gym was close to the Betty Ford Center and one of the weird things that would happen with Palm Desert is people would come to Ranch Mirage, go to the Betty Ford Center, and then they’d end up moving to the desert because it’s such a great place to live.
And so I ended up with a lot of these clients. And occasionally I would, one would not show up and you’d have to go, what happened? My dad was a What you would call a functioning alcoholic. Like literally we’d have like three to five drinks every single night. He, he wasn’t drinking like bottles. He would just function.
That’s what he did. I think a lot of our parents were like that. But I remember seeing these clients that if they had one drink, they had to have every drink they could find until they passed out, which was like, wow, that’s crazy. We’re really looking at someone who probably is drinking a glass or two or three a night thinking, presumably it’s fine.
That’s what we’re gonna unpack here, is [00:11:00] what is that doing? And I’d first love to talk about like how do we metabolize alcohol because we have three macronutrient categories. We have fats, we have proteins, we have carbs, alcohol’s, none of those. So what does our body do when we
Sara Banta: drink? When we drink, our body stops and says, hold the horses.
We need to shut off that burning. We need to shut off everything. We have no storage mechanism for alcohol. So what are we gonna do? We’re gonna burn it right away and we’re gonna burn it in the liver. So that’s where. All of our fat, carbs and proteins, even the kale, even the healthy proteins we’re eating are gonna be stored as fat or put off to the side and not utilized properly and not broken down in the liver to then be able to use, and the liver damage caused by alcohol will inhibit that fat burning when you’re not drinking alcohol.
So here we are in an environment right now where toxicity is at the highest [00:12:00] level ever. Our ancestors did not have the amount of toxicity and radiation and heavy metals and environmental toxins. To filter through the liver. So with or without alcohol, our livers are suffering. But then we put on that alcohol and we increase the fatty liver disease.
We increase fatty liver disease with the processed foods and the sugars. But then you compound that with the alcohol, that liver damage is going to affect your. Thyroid hormone health and conversion from T4 to t3. That happens in the liver and that T4 is unusable. So unless it converts to t3, your metabolism is gonna slow down and you’re not gonna get that a T P production that is needed for true cellular energy.
Alcohol is also increasing stress. We’re using it to alleviate stress, but just by having a couple drinks a week [00:13:00] is going to lead to an increase in cortisol release from your adrenal glands when you’re not drinking. So that is why when you start drinking, you need more to help with your stress. God, I need my drink to, to relieve that stress.
Well, that need is gonna go up and up and up. As a result, you’re going to experience more stress and more anxiety when you’re not drinking, and this will increase that level of cortisol release, which is a fat storing hormone. So then we’re also increasing our fat storage as perceived stress is higher, and then you’re going to increase your weight gain.
So it’s like a domino effect. It’s shutting off the fat burning, it’s also causing leaky gut, just one drink. And you talk about that a lot, where if you don’t have a proper healed gut, you’re not absorbing the nutrients you need. You’re taking in all of this great nutrient dense food. I [00:14:00] really like to talk about wild animal protein because of how nutrient dense it is.
Even when you’re eating all those great foods, but you’re having one or two drinks. That leaky gut is gonna make it so those nutrients are not being absorbed. There’s inflammatory cytokines going off throughout the body and in the brain. Then you’re also tripping up your hormones. A lot of people with or without drinking have increased estrogen dominance, and that’s from the toxicity.
That’s from dirty liver. That’s from the dirty water. All of these things that we’re, were being exposed to. And what are the signs of estrogen dominance? Man boobs.
JJ Virgin: Okay. Hold on, hold on. This is what I always like to, I like to make this so that, that someone listening will get every single bit of this. So before we get into those, cause I also want you to find leptin and resistance.
I always like to make each thing as a standalone, just in case someone goes, well, estrogen dominance. Give the definition of estrogen [00:15:00] dominance. Then we’ll go through the symptoms and then each symptom as we unpack it. I’d love to like explain for someone who maybe doesn’t, isn’t quite sure how leptin plays a role here.
Gosh. I was just listening to a podcast today about leptin resistance that was frightening. So people can understand exactly what’s going on. So estrogen dominance, definition of it
Sara Banta: first, estrogen dominance may be the result of an overproduction of estrogen, changes in the estrogen metabolism and excretion in the body, or an imbalance in the estrogen to progesterone ratio in you’re thinking estrogen.
It’s all about women. I have seen it actually in my husband. So as you age you tend to get a higher level of estrogen in the body, and your body has an inability to detox those bad estrogens fast enough. It’s kind of like that great hormone. We need it. We want it, but too much of a good thing is a bad thing, estrogen.
Is a fat [00:16:00] storing hormone. We hear a lot about insulin being the fat storing hormone, which is true, but estrogen also is a fat storing hormone.
JJ Virgin: Well, estrogen in excess because estrogen can be a fat burning hormone as well. So I think what you said was so important with all of these things, like it’s all about the right balance of them.
And one other big key thing with estrogen that’s frightening is all the places outside of our. Body that we’re getting these xenoestrogens that are contributing, which is why we have men with man boobs, where like, you know, men have estrogen, but they shouldn’t have excess estrogen and be making man boobs.
Okay, cool. So then symptoms of estrogen dominance, what would those
Sara Banta: look like? Constipation, hypothyroidism, man, boobs and large prostates. Decreased libido. Menstrual irregularities. Mood changes. Migraines with your menstrual cycle, infertility, bloat, water retention, [00:17:00] slow metabolism, and then cancer. The leading cause for cancer is mitochondrial failure, which is related to iodine deficiency, which is related to your thyroid health.
So they’re all, they’re all related. So those would be the most typical endometriosis and fibroids as well. Pelvic pain.
JJ Virgin: Okay, now we, we started with that. How does alcohol relate to estrogen dominance? It causes estrogen dominance. And does it cause that because of it impacting the liver’s ability to detoxify estrogens or what actually is going on?
Sara Banta: Alcohol increases estrogen in not just one but three ways. It increases small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, which is gonna increase the recycling of estrogen. Okay,
JJ Virgin: so small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, just give a definition so people understand what
Sara Banta: that is. So you have good bacteria and bad bacteria.
We all, all of our gut bugs are living in harmony. In a [00:18:00] perfect world, will the wrong bacteria get up into the small intestine and overgrown, take over the, the good bacteria, and then in the gut, you also are trying to get rid of the bad estrogens. If small intestinal bacterial overgrowth is there, it’s recycling the estrogen leading to that estrogen being taken back up into the body, increasing that estrogen dominance.
So then that’s one way, and then alcohol increases estrogen on its own. And then alcohol is going to increase the aromatase conversion of testosterone into estrogen in men and women. What most people don’t think of is the fact that women have more testosterone than estrogen, but we just think of testosterone as a male hormone because it is, you know, they have so much more, but testosterone’s, the feel good hormone.
It’s the [00:19:00] fat burning hormone. It’s the dry hormone. Let’s go out. And work or work out or, or libido. All of the drives in our life are encouraged with testosterone. So alcohol’s going to take that away. It’s going to affect your drive, it’s going to then increase the man boobs and increase the estrogen in your body.
So it really hits you in three different ways.
JJ Virgin: So any other things about. Alcohol and its negativity pieces that you wanna say. Cause I do wanna talk about the fact like, and this is where I think it’s so confusing for the public, where it’s obvious you shouldn’t be drinking a bottle of wine a night. The question is, is there an amount that you can do healthily or if you are going to choose to do it, are there things that you can do to counteract it?
Because I’m looking at some other, like a plethora of studies showing all of these positive effects of alcohol. And so you look at the public at, [00:20:00] at someone reading all this going, how do I make sense of this? And. Is there a possibility to have a glass of wine at a great restaurant? And if so, is there something else I need to be doing to counteract it?
Sara Banta: Yeah, and I, I definitely wanna get into the ways that you can reverse the damage quickly. I am not, I’m the messenger. I’m not against drinking. I don’t. Say that I never drink, I will have a sip of of wine or a vodka soda, but a lot of times it just doesn’t do anything for me anymore. But alcohol does cause liver damage and I love my liver.
All of my clients know that we have to take care of our livers with or without alcohol. And the damage to the liver is substantial leading to fatty liver, and as I mentioned already, The liver is where the thyroid hormone converts from T4 into the active hormone t3, and that is [00:21:00] needed for healthy metabolism, for fat burning to utilize protein.
Your liver is where you’re detoxing the estrogens or a lot of them. It’s also where you burn your fat. So if your liver’s damaged, your metabolism slows down, weight gain increases, inflammation throughout the body increases, and then you’re going to get more of the chronic disease. Alcohol also enters all cells, even cocaine and even some of the harder drugs cannot pass the blood-brain barrier.
But alcohol is water and fat soluble, so it goes anywhere it wants to. It’s indiscriminate with your cells. It destroys any cell that it can get its hands on. And I mentioned also that it can disrupt the microbiome. Most people are walking around with leaky gut. And leaky gut can be causing your bloat, your constipation, your brain fog, a disruption in [00:22:00] the brain.
Hormones like the serotonin and dopamine, those hormones, serotonin and dopamine are made in the gut. So if your gut is leaky, Then even when you are eating that healthy protein that we talk about, or your vegetables. If it’s leaking through the walls, the intestinal walls because of the alcohol, then you are going to get this inflammatory response.
You’re not gonna absorb the nutrients and that you have this vicious cycle of things that aren’t going right and then you don’t feel well because you’re serotonin and gaba. Are suffering. So you’re now more stressed. Cortisol is taking over and the Gavin serotonin are not active. So to take control of that depression or anxiety, and that’s why a lot of people wake up in the morning after drinking that they have a little.
Anxiety, right? So it destroys the microbiome, causes leaky gut, and [00:23:00] then it also increases the inflammation throughout the body. It has those that those pro-inflammatory cytokines are released in the liver trying to break down that alcohol and that inflammation will then also go to the brain, leading to the mood disorders, the headaches, the brain fog.
And this is not just short-term, this is long-term. The the damage is done long-term. The thing that most people don’t know, and I actually had this talk with my, my dad because as I mentioned, alcoholism is in our family. My dad needs his one drink every night. And he times it 30 minutes before he’s gonna have dinner because he knows exactly that.
He wants to enjoy that glass. But he’s not gonna let himself have more than one glass.
JJ Virgin: Now, has he always been that way or is this a
Sara Banta: He’s always been now as long as I know I have a lot of people in my family with it, [00:24:00] alcoholism, so he knew that he’s teetering on it now. Interesting enough, he’s a twin and his identical twin brother chose years ago to say, I’m just never drinking. I’m not, I’m, I’m not gonna test myself.
But the thing is, alcohol tricks the brain into wanting more alcohol. So it disrupts the signaling in the brain to moderate the alcohol consumption, which will then lead to an increased alcohol consumption with that inflammation in the brain and the disruption of the microbiome allowing the bad bacteria.
To escape into the blood through the leaky gut, and that’s going to lead to more inflammation, more autoimmune issues, more chronic disease, and it’s a vicious cycle. But then the other thing is, and my dad is very I, I would call him ADHD, but very impulsive as well. Alcohol increases your impulsive behavior, which is not a mystery to most people, but it does.
So [00:25:00] when you’re not drinking. So just by drinking one drink a night. There. It’s changing the neural circuits in the brain that control your habitual behavior and you’re going to increase your impulsive behavior when you’re not drinking. I had this conversation with my mom and she says, well, no wonder because she has to live with my dad.
Right? So It’s a, it’s something that people don’t realize. This is a topic that has gotten more activity on my website than any other topic, because we’re talking about the person that’s just drinking a couple drinks a week, and I’ve had a lot of people come outta the woodwork saying, Sara, I actually decided to stop drinking a few months ago.
I cannot believe how everything in my health has turned around my hormones, my hot flashes are gone. My thyroid, my metabolism, my brain fog, my anxiety, all of these symptoms that no one [00:26:00] connects to, just drinking a couple drinks a week.
JJ Virgin: Well, here’s the thing I would say about all this, and this is probably why, and it’s, it’s interesting.
So I grew up in Northern California and literally we used to skip school when I was in high school because they didn’t card in the wine country, and it was 45 minutes away. From high school. So we’d load up our car with kids and we got to the wine country and we would drink wine all afternoon and then we’d come home.
Parents would not be the wiser because you know, they’re all drinking their wine at night. And I went off to college that way. I literally went off to college and I remember they were buying boxes of wine and I was used to drinking like these great wineries in Northern California. I’m like, what’s this box you’re drinking from?
But we all got used to just drinking a little bit of wine every night. And a couple months ago I went, you know, This is ridiculous. Like I can totally see going out to dinner, having a great glass of wine. I’m a big fan of, of Dry [00:27:00] Farm and Todd. I can see being with friends, having a glass of wine. But this like every night when we’re doing our transition, all of a sudden bringing out wine is just like, how did this happen?
Right. And it was just a, it’s just a weird habit my husband and I got into and we’re like, let’s knock it off. And we started tracking everything. I mean, that’s the great thing with like what, what we all do, right? We can check our body comp, we can check our blood sugar, we can check our sleep, but the sleep.
Was the biggie and now I test it. So if I am gonna have a little wine over the holidays, we had some wine. I was like, holy smokes. The difference in sleep is dramatic. The difference in H R V is dramatic. And it’s like, and, and honestly, Sara, I was kind of bummed about it cause I was like, darn, I can’t make an argument for it.
But here is this, this stuff. And, and I’ll, I’ll share this one in the show notes too, because, You’ve got the great blog we’re gonna put in the show notes and some other some other surprises. So stay tuned. Sara’s got a really cool surprise for you. You know, here’s some of the stuff and I was listening to Rhonda Patrick’s found my [00:28:00] fitness podcast because you know, I love some of the stuff she comes up with.
And she was talking about how moderate alcohol can help you live longer. Modern alcohol can help with cognitive decline. And I found this great article that has like, All the studies cited showing how it can help with living longer. It can reduce 25% reduced risk of mortality, 21% lower risk of than people comparing to either people who were drinking in excess or never drank.
And so they were looking at people who never drank versus the people who drank in moderation and they were living longer, reduced risk of heart failure, reduce risk of type two diabetes could help prevent the common cold decreases your chance of dementia, reduce risk of gallstones, reduce risk of osteoporosis, less likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis, better mental health.
And I always look at this stuff and go, okay, how on earth do you make sense of all of this information? And I always like, is it [00:29:00] correlative or causative? Like what is it? Is it the people who are drinking a little red wine also eat healthier? Which things are it? But there’s just too much, too much research to say.
It could just be correlative that there’s clearly something here. So, Someone trying to make sense of all this might say, okay, well maybe if I go out to dinner every week, I’m gonna have a glass or two of wine. And I think you could say, that looks okay with this information. However, you also then know, okay, it’s gonna impact your sleep.
Like at the very least, I could have some real data to show. And I think there’s enough real data to show. This is definitely not something you wanna do every night if you are doing it something that you wanna keep for these special occasions, but when you do do it, what can you do to counteract the negative effects?
Because there’s clearly negative effects, as you said, alcohol’s, toxin. So there’s definitely some stuff going on. I mean, just by how you feel the next day. You don’t wake up feeling this like it’s such a clear difference between how you feel when you had a glass of wine or two the [00:30:00] night before, and how you feel when you don’t.
So what are some of the things you could do to help? You minimize some of the damage that’s happening
Sara Banta: from it. Number one, you wanna look at your diet. Right. And, and that goes for whether you’re drinking or you’re not drinking. We need to keep our liver clean. I recommend a liver flush three to four times a year just to keep your liver functioning properly.
But, and when you say
JJ Virgin: a liver flush, what do you mean?
Sara Banta: I take people through a couple week, two weeks of taking a couple extra supplements. You’re eating clean, you’re eating, you’re not juicing. Actually just posted about why you don’t wanna juice.
JJ Virgin: Oh. You know, I’m not a juice fan whatsoever. I’ve like gotten in juice arguments with people.
Sara Banta: I know it! I know. And a lot of people don’t understand that there’s vegetables and healthy, wrong foods that are actually tripping up your detox pathways in your liver. And so these juices are [00:31:00] concentrated of those vegetables that may not be right for your D N A. And then you’re also hangry and feeling bad and lethargic, and you just get dehydrated during the juice cleanse and then all the weight comes back on cuz you’re slowing down your metabolism.
But that side to the side, so through my liver cleanse, you just take a couple supplements during two weeks, and then on the last day you take a lot of magnesium and then you do this olive oil, citrus fruit drink. You lay on your right side and through the night and the next morning you’ll see hundreds to thousands of gallstones, liver stones in the toilet.
I always tell people, do not get your gallbladder out. It is the number one money maker for doctors in the United States. Doctors tell you that you don’t need your gallbladder. God gave you your gallbladder and all of your parts for a reason. We need our gallbladder, so we wanna take care of our [00:32:00] liver and our gallbladder.
So the night of your drinking, I always tell people, make sure you’re doing your electrolytes. I have an accelerated salt that is really good, full of minerals. But then I also have a detox powder that soaks up all the toxins that you can take just afterwards, and it soaks up the alcohol and it’ll make you feel better.
A lot of the reason that we feel bad in the morning is we’re dehydrated. Alcohol is dehydrates you, so making sure you’re hydrating with electrolytes is super important. So those two things, the detox powder, the electrolytes that will help you. I also say, you know, intermittent fasting helps heal the gut, and we’ve just kind of caused a little bit of leaky gut.
There are some other supplements that I, I do tell people that help heal the gut in a quicker way, heal that leaky gut. So that is another thing that you can do when we talk about estrogen dominance. [00:33:00] Tap water, sugar, pesticides, conventional meat, improperly combining food, all of those things increase that estrogen dominance.
So we wanna make sure that we are doing a, a little check on that if we’re going to have some drinks. That’s also going to increase estrogen. I’m a huge fan of testosterone. As I mentioned, you want to make sure your testosterone’s in a good spot. And you can do that through supplements or you can do that through hit exercises, proper sleep, cleansing your liver, cuz that’s also very important, making sure your gut is healed.
So all of these things are really important to make sure the full package body, mind, and spirit of you is in a good place to handle the one or two drinks that you’re gonna have on a, on an occasional basis. This goes back to why I stopped drinking. It wasn’t okay. I have to stop drinking cuz alcohol’s bad for me.[00:34:00]
No, it was, I actually feel so good. I don’t wanna drink. It was a choice that was, you know, just feeling good. My energy at the gym. I would wake up feeling great. My sleep was better. I test my sleep with my aura ring every single night just like you. I could see whenever I drank or whenever I ate sugar.
Especially over the holidays, you know, the aura ring doesn’t lie. That H R V number and the REM sleep number that all can change, and alcohol is one of those big things. So with a few supplements, with intermittent fasting, with focusing on a diet that is prioritizing wild animal protein, nutrient dense food.
Choosing the vegetables that are right for your dna. And I go into a lot of how do you know, how do you know if broccoli is good for you and not me? How do you know if, if a kale [00:35:00] is good for you or not? Me? I go into that in my coaching and getting very specific with the, the types of healthy, wrong foods for you.
JJ Virgin: So that’s actually a great thing cuz right now what I’ll share with everybody as you are going to be offering a free group coaching session, and I’m gonna put that at We’ll have your blog on alcohol and how you get that coaching session. And so that’s another great thing that we always love to have something cool that comes out of each podcast episode.
And that’s an especially cool one is to be able to access that. So we’re gonna put that in there to access as well. And I think. The most important thing here is to really, you know, you’ve helped people understand what happens when you have alcohol. Once you can do that, and we teach everyone, you know, I teach everyone track everything.
Once you can do that and track and use that aura ring or use your Apple watch to really see the impact of it makes you kind [00:36:00] of go, huh? You know, is this worth it? Just like when we take people through the Virgin Diet and they go back and they go, okay, this is what I feel like when I have gluten. Is it worth it?
And then it comes down to it. Well, if I do wanna have it, what do I need to do about it? And so I think you’ve made a really, you’ve done a great job explaining just what happens when you do this and, and what the smart things to do with making the right decisions for you are, which. Again, I think we’re both in agreement.
It doesn’t mean that you can’t ever have it right. It’s the things that you do every single day that make the big difference. And boy, if this is something you’re doing every day, it could, it could make a big difference not the way you want it to be. Right? And you’ve really connected the dots between all these different things, between thyroid and estrogen and, and metabolism and fat burning and what can happen.
If you’re doing this, you know, on a regular consistent basis, could be super problematic. So thank you for [00:37:00] all of that. And also thank you so much for, for offering up the coaching session and you’ll definitely wanna take advantage of that. And again, I’ll put it everywhere at
Any last parting words of wisdom? One little
Sara Banta: tidbit is that you’ve talked about body composition. And I’m seeing a lot of women, especially losing weight. But with their drinking, they’re drinking a lot. They’re not eating enough. Cuz the people say they’ll drink their calories, right?
JJ Virgin: Yeah. Do not drink those calories unless it’s a protein-rich, smooth, loaded smoothie.
Sara Banta: Right? Well that, that alcohol is causing you to gain fat and lose muscle. The scale might not change. So I highly recommend people go out and do body composition tests.
JJ Virgin: Amen. Yes, we’ve done an entire podcast on I actually went in and did a DEXA cuz I’ve been like, my whole thing is not what you weigh, [00:38:00] it’s what your weight’s made up of and that, you know, now these, the bio-impedance scales are so inexpensive for home now.
And yes, they’re not as accurate as an Embody or a DEXA, but the bottom line is they make it super accessible and then go do a really good one. I do a DEXA I try to do one every six months. Right. So decks are an embody and really see what that weight’s made up of. Because I find that for so many women, they’re trying to lose weight when it’s the last thing they should be doing, they should be putting on muscle.
Absolutely. I’m glad you you pointed that out. Cause it’s so key important. And if you’re looking at your weight and you don’t know what’s made up of, it’s like looking at total cholesterol. Exactly. It’s, it’s not a meaningful number. The meaningful number is what it’s made up of. You don’t want to be one of those.
It’s called sarcopenic obesity in the literature, but it’s really a skinny fat. And it was a great study out of London that showed that I think it was 50% of the people who [00:39:00] Were at normal weight were skinny fat were actually had sarcopenic obesity. They did not have enough muscle relative to their overall weight, and if you were trying to maintain your weight through diet alone without exercise, those were the people who had that skinny fat problem.
So, yep. Yet another reason to exercise. There’s so many of them. Yes, yes, yes. Amen. All right, well, thank you so much. I super appreciate it. And one more reminder to everybody, go to to grab the free group coaching session and also get all of the great notes and links to the blogs from today.
Be sure to join me next time for more tools, tips, and techniques you can incorporate into everyday life to ensure you look and feel great, and more importantly that you’re built to last. And check me out on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and my website And make sure to follow my podcast so you don’t miss a single episode at . [00:40:00] See you next time.

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