Some of the most high performing, fit, intelligent women fall into the trap of “Drunkorexia.” (Guys too for that matter.) We are not talking about the hard-drinking, chain-smoking factory worker. But, rather the high speed lawyer (Read: A Girl Walks Out of a Bar” by Lisa F. Smith), athlete, salesperson or student.
One thing that I noticed while in university was the number of high performing young female students who also drank heavily. Some were also very physically fit. At least four whom I knew personally were anorexic and another three were sort of drunkorexic. This also applied to female fitness instructors and an Iron Man competitor. They could train hard, drink and still look good…for awhile. While there were some study of twins that showed some women were predisposed to eating disorders and alcoholism regardless of their family background, there appeared to be a pattern in working, studying and eating habits. Anorexics tend to be low in iron, vitamin B12 and (complete) protein. Alcohol will drain these very nutrients, including zinc and vitamin A. Oh yeah, some strict vegans are also low on iron, vitamin B12 and protein.
So, background and family problems aside, there is a tendency for female students to achieve high in academics and fitness, while starving themselves at the same time. There is a certain amount of pride in self-denial (ask a soldier, athlete, artist or martial artist).
This is why I harp on the importance of good nutrition with students. The diet high in protein, vitamin B12 and minerals will help offset alcohol damage and the craving for alcohol. The chemical-nutritional approach can be stronger than the counselling therapy.
If I figure I am in for some festive drinking, I usually eat a high protein meal or smoothie and a potent multi B vitamin, prior to any boozing. The trick is to take the nutrients BEFORE or during drinking. That way you can enjoy yourself without the nasty after effects.