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Ask Anything: Does Butt Chugging Reduce Calories Consumed?

Bottoms Up, BC! For your benefit, I will now review the history of butt-chugging

The alcohol-enema (fondly referred to as butt-chugging) became a media sensation in 2004 after the death of one 58-year-old Texan, Michael Warner, who, with the help of his wife, anally administered sherry. He allegedly chose to butt-chug in order to avoid exacerbating his ulcers. Mr. Warner received a Darwin Award for his efforts, and his wife was charged with negligent homicide. The good news: We can surmise that Mr. Warner did not experience ulcer pain. And the charges against his wife were eventually dropped. The bad news: He died.

Not to be outdone, the brothers of fraternity Pi Kappa Alpha at University of Tennessee incorporated butt-chugging into their hazing rituals in 2012, with the unfortunate consequence of one of their brothers being hospitalized in critical condition. (They used Franzia Blush wine and rubber tubing). In the wake of a media frenzy, the chapter at University of Tennessee was closed

Beyond the Bottle

Butt-chuggers join the tiny fraction of people who skip the oral route of administration in order to bypass the stomach and small intestine, thereby delivering a rapid infusion of alcohol to the bloodstream. This is the group that does anything to get drunk, including smoking alcohol, injecting it with syringes, administering it as eyedrops, and infusing it vaginally through tampons. These forms of alcohol ingestion come as highly recommended as drinking bleach: maybe you won’t die, but it’s not going to be good for you.

The Metabolism Myth

Because alcohol is easily absorbed into the bloodstream, you DO absorb the calories from alcohol, even if you pour it into your butt.

If you’re worried about calories, though, my guess is that you’re trying not to get fat. And the bad news about alcohol is that calories really have nothing to do with your beer-gut. When you consume alcohol (via any route), your body at some point has to break down the alcohol and convert it into acetaldehyde

When your body breaks down alcohol dehydrogenase and converts it to acetaldehyde, it requires huge amounts of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD), a chemical your body needs to prevent cells from aging.

Depleting NAD leads to bad things. You can bench press and do cross fit all day without actually building muscle. In fact, you are much more likely to experience lactic acid build-up and hypoglycemia.

If you flood your bloodstream with alcohol and bypass the stomach and small intestine, you run a high risk of slowing your metabolism down to a crawl. While your body is dealing with a blood stream full of alcohol, it slams the breaks on normal energy metabolism, meaning that the solid food you ate for dinner turns into a big old beer gut. That boneless skinless chicken breast you ate right before you butt-chugged? Probably converted to fat. That apple you had as a snack? Probably also converted to fat.

Some bros pop NAD supplements hoping to restore this precious chemical, but there is no research yet showing that this helps undo the damage done by alcohol.

The verdict?

The stomach and small intestine is your friend, BC. If you must drink, do so responsibly – through your mouth. SS

Sarah Suzuki, AM, LCSW, CADC

Sarah Suzuki, AM, LCSW, CADC

Hi, I'm Sarah, and I'm a counselor who helps high-achieving men learn how to moderate their drinking. I currently offer counseling services and corporate training here at Chicago Compass Counseling. If you're interested, you can read more about me on my about page.

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