Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and happy holidays to everyone!

As we gather together with our friends and family to celebrate the holidays, there will undoubtedly be plenty of food and drink involved. Whether you’re having lamb, prime rib, or goose (please send your expert recipes our way), topped off with a taste of every dessert, remember that this is a time that comes around only once a year. Enjoy yourself and the company you’re with! There will be pants on sale soon!

Remember, too, that as you eat and drink in increased holiday quantities, your body will likely take longer to process what you have ingested. Although we commonly think that the human body will better “soak up” the alcohol we drink if we have some food in our stomachs, this isn’t exactly the case. Typically, our bodies absorb and eliminate alcohol at a constant rate that is particular to the individual. However, when adding food to the mix, you’re giving your body another task to work on: something else to digest and metabolize. Certain foods are easier for the body to break down while others are more difficult, but the main point is that your liver has to do the majority of the heavy lifting when it comes to proteins, fats, and alcohol. Thus, when you’re giving your liver more work than it is accustomed to, your absorption and elimination rates are slower. You won’t feel the effects of alcohol as quickly as you normally would, and it will take your body longer to get rid of the alcohol, fats, and proteins.(1)

Here in Arizona, please remember to be safe and take care while driving. Over the 2014 Thanksgiving weekend alone, more than 370 individuals were arrested and charged with DUI.(2) Even though this number is slightly lower than Thanksgiving arrests in years past, there were more extreme and aggravated DUIs, and the average blood alcohol concentration was higher. If you haven’t noticed it already in Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tempe, and Mesa, the Holiday DUI Task Force has been heavily patrolling the roads and will continue to do so until after the new year. So be safe and take of yourself and your loved ones this season.
From all of us here at azdui.com, we wish you joy, peace, and the happiest of holidays!

(1) Anne Raben, Lisa Agerholm-Larsen, Anne Flint, Jens J. Holst, & Arne Astrup, Meals with Similar Energy Densities by Rich in Protein, Fat, Carbohydrate, or Alcohol Have Different Effects on Energy Expenditure and Substrate Metabolism, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2003).
(2) Arizona Statewide DUI Enforcement Statistics, Arizona Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, Dec. 1, 2014, http://www.azgohs.gov/media/2014%20Dec1%20News%20Release_Thx.pdf