That day has come when you feel that age is winning the battle. In the midst of the maelstrom of the holidays, alcohol has managed to make a dent in a way that just a few years ago You would never have allowed yourself to admit.
But you are no longer 20 years old, and the drink, food and party don't feel the same, as much as you would like. What has happened? What has happened to your body so that it does not hold even half of what it did before?
Those wonderful 20 years
I still remember a sunrise rocked by the cool breeze of the mountain, at 7 a.m. He had slept just two and a half hours after a night of jarana. That same morning, I and the same friends with whom a few hours ago shared a few drinks, we cleared the cold while we watched the sun rise. It was revitalizing because we were 21 years old.
Today, thinking about doing something like this makes my hair stand on end, and it has been barely 10 years since then. With a body of thirty-one, thinking about sleeping less than seven hours to walk a few kilometers down the mountain can be a little bearable challenge. At least for most people.
When you reach a certain age, sleep little, and more if you are going to make some effort, it has a considerable price, which we are not always willing to pay. Normally, we reach the metabolic and physiological peaks between 14 and 30 years.
From here, as normal general, our body "settles" and there is only the slow and pleasant descent "to the abyss" of old age (greatly exaggerating the situation). In any case, at 20 we live a hormonal, metabolic and muscular apogee that allows us to better withstand many types of adverse situations. This is what happens to the body.
Hangovers are worse
As the years go by, our body has less ability to efficiently manage poisoning. Remember that drinking alcohol is nothing more than poisoning ourselves with playful intent. The body of mammals is prepared to process the alcohol from the fermentation of food. But this process is a means of defense, since alcohol is toxic (in any sense).
As the years go by, our ability to produce alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH), the enzyme (a set of seven enzymes actually) that is responsible for processing alcohol, is reduced. This means greater alcohol poisoning and worse effects from the metabolism that should protect us.
In addition to ADH, our liver also produces fewer enzymes, such as acetaldehyde dehydrogenase, which is responsible for the metabolism of acetaldehyde, which is a very aggressive and dangerous substance in our body. To all this is added a less efficient control of hydration, something fundamental in the metabolism of any toxic substance.
Physiology, that damn traitor
As the years pass, our body varies greatly. While with adolescence the first important physiological changes (reproductive maturity) arrive, with the passage of the first three decades the body composition continues to vary.
Starting in his twenties, as normal general, the body tends to accumulate more fat. At thirty, a human adult usually has his muscular peak. From here the body usually varies to acquire more fat and lose muscle. This plays against us, since less muscle consumes less energy and metabolism slows down in many ways.
Fat also makes it difficult to treat some toxic substances that are fat soluble. To this we can add that your stomach no longer resists greasy foods in the same way. On the other hand, the cells responsible for protecting us, such as those of the immune system, also work worse. All this causes the body to take longer to recover from the adverse effects of any effort. What at 20 years was a few hours of a morning, at 30 they become a day, or more, because of our physiology.
The nervous system is no longer your friend
How could it be less, the nervous system is not for the job. Neuroplasticity, the ability of neurons to develop new connections and change old ones, is disappearing. Neuroplasticity is the essential basis of many neurological processes. Therefore, over time, this reduction affects us negatively to recovery.
On the other hand, stress affects us more, perhaps because of the responsibilities acquired or a strong change of priorities in life. The point is that it is not only our mind, but our brain, that is not for those jogs either. As if all this were not enough, our circadian rhythm, the internal clock that controls all living beings, is modified.
Over time, we become more morning and less evening, until in the old age the cycle acquires extreme patterns (of going to bed very early and getting up even earlier, sleeping little). As the years go by it's harder to stay awake, partying. And this has consequences, because we will wake up early, equally, without having rested well.
In short, at 30 we can no longer do what we did at 20 because our body has already become an adult. From adolescence to maturity, it is a sack of hormones, with an incredible metabolic capacity. From its peak moment, it will adjust and, over time, lose capacity. A typical party of a twenties, however much we like it, is an effort that the body has to mitigate: alcohol, lack of sleep, greasy food, a lot of movement, the social aspect ... And over the years, this effort is It does more and more uphill.