One of the most common questions I consistently get from people is "what my thoughts are on alcohol?" and "where and how alcohol can fit into a Synchro Lifestyle (if at all)?". So quickly, here are my thoughts on the subject:
- Alcohol is inevitable. It is everywhere, and even if alcohol isn't part of what you and your immediate social group do, you will eventually find yourself at a party or other situation where it feels like everyone else is drinking. Given this, we should look critically at alcohol and see if there are strategies to maximize the benefit and minimize the harm.
- Alcohol is toxic. There's really no way around this. The stuff is poison. There are potential benefits, of course, but we need to always be mindful that the benefits come at the expense of subjecting our bodies to mild (or severe) poisoning.
- Alcohol can be healthy. This is the paradox of alcohol...it can also have effects that are quite healthy (at low doses) and can outweigh the negative effects. We've all heard the "doctor's recommendation" that a glass of red wine a day is good for health. While red wine will have some antioxidants, the benefit comes mostly from the stress-releiving properties. The toxicity of alcohol in low doses is negligible compared to the toxicity of chronic stress. It's not just emotional and psychological well-being that is effected, either. Chronic stress has been shown to have major negative effects on the metabolism and cell health. In the end, there are definitely better ways to manage stress (yoga, anyone?)...but if the choice is between chronic stress and a glass of wine...by all means, have the wine (well, maybe....more on wine later).
- Alcohol can be fun. Otherwise I wouldn't need to write this article and you wouldn't be reading it, right? ;)
- There are better options. If there was a substance that was safe, non-toxic and legal - and gave a lot of the same desirable effects of alcohol (and even extra benefits), with minimal negative side effects - wouldn't you want to give that a try? Good news, this exists. I'll explain below...
Given these realities of alcohol and its place in our culture, we need an intelligent, elegant (i.e. Synchro) strategy for making the best choices when consuming alcohol - maximizing the benefits while minimizing the negative effects. I'll cover in this article:
- Least and Most Toxic Alcohol Options. Which type of alcohol you choose to consume can have HUGE consequences for the degree to which you experience the negative effects of alcohol. Know the best and worst options.
- 'Hack' Your Drinking. If you're going to drink, use these strategies to minimize the toxicity to your body.
- The Altogether Superior Alternative To Alcohol. It's called phenibut. While it's not perfect, it's a hell of a lot better than alcohol. And it's a brain enhancer. Oh, and it's the most powerful sex enhancer I know of. ...Interested?
Additional Toxins In Your Drink
Alcohol (ethanol) is, of course, a toxin itself. But depending on the beverage you choose it can be the only toxin in your drink, or just one of many (and the others can be worse). Some alcoholic beverages are made from grains, and as I covered in Synchro Life Design #7, grains are the single biggest source of toxins in the average person's diet. In short, commercially produced grains are stored in huge grain silos, where they get moldy. The molds may be removed in processing and cooking, but the highly toxic mycotoxins remain. Studies have shown that some years 92% of corn and 80% of wheat on the market is contaminated with mycotoxins. (these are two common grains used for alcohol production).
Furthermore, the grains used for alcohol production are of a lower quality than those that are used for food products. Lower quality grains = more toxins. If you're drinking an alcohol made with grains (beer and whiskey are notable examples), I'd say there is close to a 100% chance you're exposing yourself to mycotoxins. In my opinion, mycotoxins are a huge contributor to hangovers and other negative effects of drinking.
Wheat is a prominent ingredient in beer and whiskey, and with this you get all of the negative effects of wheat. In addition to the almost-guaranteed mycotoxins, you have gluten causing inflammation and Amylopectin A making you fat. No surprise beer is at the bottom of my list of alcohol options.
Less Toxic Alcohol Options (if you're going to drink...drink these)
- Liquors made from sugars and starches, i.e. no grains (top-shelf is always safest) - Vodka, Rum, Tequila, most Gins, Sake
Moderately Toxic Alcohol Options (not top choice, but don't stress about a single drink)
- Champagne, White Wine, Red Wine - the antioxidants in red wine are nice, but a lot of wines acquire mycotoxins in the fermenting process (even high-end wines)...so drinking wine is a bit of a gamble.
- Other Liquors (made from grains) - Whiskey, etc.
Highly Toxic Alcohol Options (avoid, seriously)
- Beer, Beer, Beer - Sorry beer fans, beer is absolutely, hands-down, the most toxic thing average people put in their bodies. High levels of wheat and corn mean off-the-charts mycotoxins and gluten.
Hack Your Drinking
One drink (of a high-quality alcohol option) realistically isn't going to have a lot of negative effects. Get to the 2 to 3 (or more) range, and you'll want to start thinking about ways to negate the toxicity. Slip up and drink a beer? You'll want to have read this section carefully.
Top Toxicity-Negating Hacks:
- Drink Water! This should be obvious, but alcohol is dehydrating. Dehydration means any toxins you take in are going to be more concentrated and have a stronger negative effect. Electrolytes are important too. I recommend a bit of Himalayan sea salt in your water.
- B Vitamins - The liver has to work hard to process alcohol, and B vitamins are depleted in the process. If you're already supplementing (you should be!) and you are a light drinker, this shouldn't be an issue. If you have more than a couple drinks, you should finish your night with some B-1 and B-12.
- Vitamin C - Take around 1000mg before drinking. This will help block alcohol being converted into aldehyde, the most toxic byproduct of alcohol processing.
- Activated Charcoal - This is primarily if you slip up and drink beer. You need to get those mycotoxins out of your gut. Activated charcoal will do just that. (it will also absorb B vitamins, so separate those a bit).
- Drink Synchro Genesis - Not just a shameless plug, the high-quality proteins, detoxifying greens and antioxidants are exactly what your body wants after being mildly poisoned by alcohol. The raw cacao is also a powerful vasodilator, meaning it opens up blood flow throughout the body and brain. The body post-alcohol is usually vasoconstricted. I've been told Synchro Genesis is the greatest thing ever for hangovers. Hope you don't ever have to confirm that, but nice to know.
The Superior Alternative
Like I said above, there is a safe, non-toxic, completely legal alternative to alcohol. Phenibut is a supplement that is similar to alcohol in that it is a GABA-agonist (technical term for the receptors in the brain it interacts with) and that it is an anxiolytic (meaning anxiety/stress reliever). A lot of the desirable effects of alcohol (stress reliever, "social lubricator") come from these properties. Phenibut is sold as a supplement for sleep, but I'd bet 99% of phenibut is purchased for alcohol-alternative applications.
Phenibut is different from alcohol in that it is essentially non-toxic, even at higher doses. It provides similar anxiety-releiving and "social enhancing" effects, but with minimal intoxication. If I'm going out where I know most people will be drinking alcohol, I often take a small dose of phenibut. Rather than poisoning myself and sacrificing clarity (with alcohol), phenibut gives me all of the desirable effects I would want from drinking -and- a few additional benefits. Low doses of phenibut have nootropic (brain-enhancing) effects for a lot of people, meaning you may even be sharper while the rest of your party friends become increasingly inebriated. Phenibut is also the most powerful sex-enhancer I know of. I won't go into too much detail here, but google "phenibut for passion" if you're curious. ;)
Phenibut is completely legal, cheap and relatively easy to find. Many supplement shops will stock phenibut. You can buy 100g here for less than $30. It comes as a powder, and dosing is relatively easy. Size "00" capsules hold about 0.7g of phenibut powder. I'd recommend starting with one capsule (0.7g) and graduating to two (1.4g) if you want stronger effects.
Phenibut is not perfect, however. Combining with alcohol requires caution, as it will amplify the effects of alcohol. This can be great if you want to have the experience of drinking several drinks, but with only the toxicity of the one you'll actually drink. Just be cautious if you're going to drink alcohol with phenibut and listen to your body. (I don't personally combine the two.)
Phenibut also lasts several hours, depending on the dosage, so prepare to be aware of its effects for 4-8 hours. Unless you take a higher dose (above 1.4g), you will rarely notice any effects in the morning. Finally, although phenibut is marketed as a sleep-aid, I do not recommend it for this application. Although it woks quite well, some reviews I've seen report that using it for sleep several days in a row can make sleep difficult without it. Using phenibut several days in a row can also create a "rebound effect" of elevated anxiety when you cease using it. Point here is, to be safe, don't use phenibut more than once a week and you'll get all of the benefits without having to worry about possible side effects.
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