I’m all for living life and realizing that we’re all only human – we’re bound to want to indulge from time to time. I get it, and I do it too, but when it comes to alcohol, are we taking our indulgence too far?
Small amounts of alcohol have shown to be beneficial for health, but just how much is really considered healthy?
ALCOHOL – THE GOOD
– Light to moderate alcohol consumption has shown to have a protective effect against age-related disorders such as Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s disease.
– Alcohol such as wine contains compounds such as resveratrol which are both neuroprotective and cardio protective.
ALCOHOL – THE BAD
— People use alcohol to relax and wind down. This is never a good thing. If your body relies on alcohol to de-stress and relax this needs to be addressed, and healthier alternatives for relaxation should be considered.
– The current recommendations for healthy wine consumption is one standard drink a day for women, and two standard drinks a day for men.
– It is also recommended to drink it with meals. If you don’t drink currently, my recommendation is to not start drinking, as the health benefits don’t necessarily outweigh the negatives.
– I disagree that one a day for women and two a day for men is healthy. I don’t believe people need to drink alcohol every day of the week. My recommendation is one or two glasses per week, and to keep in mind that having wine with meals will lower your absorption of certain nutrients, such as iron.
– When someone pours a glass of alcohol for themselves, it is normally far more than a “standard drink” serving, thus people are drinking a lot more than the recommended amount.
– Alcohol gets burned as fuel before carbohydrates and protein, which means you are more likely to put on weight if you consume a lot of alcohol, especially with meals.
– Beer is rarely drunk in moderation, and excessive beer intake can lead to vitamin deficiencies.
I do want to stress here that the benefits I have listed are referring to light to moderate alcohol consumption.
There is absolutely nothing healthy about bingeing, and in my opinion, I don’t believe having one or two drinks EVERY night is healthy, especially if you are using it as an outlet to vent your stress.
In short, we all deserve to enjoy the occasional beverage at a social gathering or with friends on a night out, or perhaps to indulge once in a while at home when enjoying down time after a busy day at work, but it is also important not to make drinking a habit, or a catalyst for us in order to try and unwind.
Excessive drinking can lead to many health issues, put stress on the liver to process alcohol, and contribute to ailments that can negatively impact our lives.
Alcohol is a known depressant, and can also affect mood, which may have a flow on effect to relationships as well.
Instead of reaching for a beer after a hard day’s work, perhaps take time out to try some Qigong or Meditation, which will have a positive effect on mood, improve relaxation, and help you to have a better night’s sleep as well.