10 Nutrients Depleted by Alcohol

Let’s talk about alcohol. Maybe you drank a little more than usual over the holidays. Maybe you’ve been drinking more since the pandemic began. Maybe drinking has become a habit over the last several years. 

Whatever your relationship is with alcohol, January is a great time to take a step back and reevaluate it. Because even though the authorities say that it’s fine for women to have one drink a day and for men to have 2, even that can be problematic for some people. For a quick reminder (and I won’t belabor the point):

Here is just a partial list of the things that alcohol can do to your health.

  • Increase intestinal permeability (leaky gut)
  • Deplete antioxidant stores
  • Promote nutrient loss
  • Alter gene expression 
  • Cause fatty liver

Plus, drinking alcohol can disrupt your sleep, leave you with a foggy brain, and dramatically interfere with your productivity. 

Here’s why I’m writing this post.

If you are feeling like your relationship with alcohol is even the least bit dysfunctional, I want to challenge you to take a break. Commit to 30 days without. See how you feel and then decide what to do next. 

During that 30 days, nutrition can be a huge help. Here are some nutrients that can be depleted by alcohol and that can help you feel better during your alcohol detox:

  • Vitamin C
  • Magnesium
  • Zinc & Selenium
  • B Complex (including folate and B12)
  • Omega-3 fatty acids

Be sure to drink plenty of water, eat on a regular schedule, and find a routine that can replace the drink. Tell a family member your plan so you can be accountable.

Barve S, Chen SY, Kirpich I, Watson WH, Mcclain C. Development, Prevention, and Treatment of Alcohol-Induced Organ Injury: The Role of Nutrition. Alcohol Res. 2017; 38: 289-302. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5513692/