How does alcohol affect your gut?

How does alcohol affect your gut
Orange & Cardamon ACV Shrub

I think it’s officially safe to say that we’re now in the full swing of autumn!

And we all know what that means… a pint in the pub? Or a cosy mocktail?! Yes please!

Us English folk are renowned for a good drink or two and that’s fine, but sometimes moderation is key, especially when it comes to our health!

I’m not here to be a party pooper but I just want to share a bit of insight into the effects that alcohol may be having on our good friends: our gut microbes!

Firstly, what are gut microbes and why are they important?

Billions of little cells including bacteria, viruses and fungi reside in our guts and are responsible for many vital bodily processes.  This includes things like: helping to control digestion, enhancing our immune system, and even helping to improve our mood and mental health.

Each group requires different nutrients to carry out their process, which is why it’s important to have a diverse diet rich in many plant based foods.  

Our good gut bugs are important for digestion and destroying any harmful bacteria that may emerge.  They can be promoted in various ways such as eating fermented foods and drinks, managing stress levels and getting adequate sleep (to name a few!).

However, if our guts get out of whack it can lead to gut dysbiosis.  This is when there is an imbalance of good to bad bacteria.  The ideal ratio should be 85:15, however if the amount of good gut bacteria decreases and bad gut bacteria increases, it can lead to various diseases and conditions such as inflammation and inflammatory bowel disease.

How does alcohol affect our gut bugs?

Unfortunately, alcohol can have harmful physical and mental effects when consumed in large amounts.  And in terms of gut health, research shows that chronic alcohol consumption can lead to gut dysbiosis.  This is because once alcohol leaves the stomach it gets metabolised and enters the small intestine where it can damage the lining and make it harder for us to absorb certain nutrients.  It can also kill off some of our good gut bacteria, causing an imbalance in bacteria. 

So what can you do about it?

1. Don’t drink on an empty stomach – follow your mothers advice and make sure you line your stomach beforehand with a nice balanced meal.

2. Stay hydrated!  Maybe try alternating each drink with a glass of water, and have a BIG ol’ glass of water before bed.

3. Opt for an alcohol free alternative – we’ve got lots of recipe inspo on our Instagram (@willysacv) and in the ‘Recipes’ section of our website.  Virgin cocktails can be just as tasty but also have the health benefits (especially if you pop in some of our gut healthy acv).

4. Get a good nights sleep – don’t feel guilty about having a bit of a lie in the morning after.  Sleep is vital for optimum gut health!

5. Rebalance your microbes – by eating a diverse diet rich in plant based foods, probiotics (live microorganisms that have beneficial health properties, such as yoghurt and fermented foods/drinks) and prebiotics (which promote the growth of our good gut bugs, such as leeks, asparagus and green bananas!).  Because our acv is alive without 300 year old mother, adding a shot to your daily routine can help to repopulate some of the good bacteria in your gut.

So there you have it!  I hope you learnt something here and have picked up a few tips when it comes to alcohol and gut health.  But go out, have fun, and have some Willy’s ACV along the way.

Which ACV will you be reaching for this season?

  • Organic Live apple Cider vinegar
    Organic Live Fire Cider Apple Cider Vinegar 500ml
    £7.40£40.00 incl VAT
  • Organic Live Apple Cider Vinegar with Honey & Turmeric
    Organic Live Turmeric & Honey Apple Cider Vinegar 500ml
    £7.40£40.00 incl VAT
    Organic Live Apple Cider Vinegar 500ml
    £7.40£40.00 incl VAT

Yours truly,


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