Five Clarifications On Alcohol For Health

Five Clarifications On Alcohol For Health

How much is really too much? Is drinking alcohol healthy or just a myth? If you’ve found yourself questioning your drinking choices, you’ve come to the right place.

Spoilers: We spill wisdom, not drinks.

‘A man and his drink walk into a bar…’

And we all know how it goes from there (psst: giddy). Alcohol doesn’t just make for good jokes but also for good times. Yet, most of us don’t need a reason to grab a drink, it’s a pastime. In alcohol’s defense; even the son of God had wine.

Yet alcohol has earned itself a reputation so notorious that it is compared to poison. For good reasons such as excessive drinking, addiction to the state of intoxication, dependence, etc.

Alcohol for Health

So how much truth is there in its health benefits?

The answer to this question depends upon figuring out ‘HOW MUCH IS TOO MUCH?’

So how much is too much? 

The answer depends on the number of standard drinks.

‘What’s a standard drink now?’

Statistically speaking,14 grams of pure alcohol is known as the standard drink. This standard varies across countries.

More and much depends on the number of standard drinks taken per day or on a weekly basis.

This means one to two glasses per day depending on your choice of alcohol. This is quantified since the alcohol content changes from one alcoholic beverage to others. Therefore sticking to a constant for every 0.6 ounces is considered as a reference point.

One standard drink for the most common alcoholic beverages quantities:

Beer: Since it contains 5 percent alcohol;12 fl oz.
Wine: In 12 percent of alcohol; 5 fl oz.
Malt liquor: With 7 percent alcohol; 8 to 9 fl oz.
Hard liquor: about 40 percent alcohol; 1.5 fl oz or shots for 80 proof spirits.

While moderate drinking is one standard drink a day, per alternate day; occasional drinking makes for one standard drink once a week or less.

Excess drinking is one to two drinks per day whereas heavy drinking is more than 3 standard drinks per day (for women) to four standard drinks per day (for men).

As you might’ve noticed, it is not just about the quantity but also about a person's drinking pattern. It is not just about the ounces but also about the number of times it is being consumed in a span of one day to a week. Alcoholism and binge drinking can wreak havoc on not just your liver, heart, and kidneys, but also your metabolism and life expectancy.

But hope is not lost for those who enjoy drinking. We’re not haters.
You can still enjoy drinking without worrying about it taking a toll on your health. The word here is MODERATION.

If consumed moderately, and paired with a clean diet, alcohol can pave a way towards a healthy lifestyle.

Here are 5 ways how:

1.   Alcohol benefits for  Weight loss

…are frenemies. While it packs empty calories, alcohol can also slow down weight-gain if consumed responsibly. This means knowing how much calories does your drink carries that can be substituted for food. Remember, it’s not about replacing food with alcohol as it’ll make you lazy and groggy enough to not burn those calories.

Since the carbs from alcohol are used up by the body before it gets to the food, drinking more than the prescribed value will result in weight gain.

How to avoid weight gain from alcohol?

Think weight friendly drinks such as red wine, beer post an intense workout, natural sugars from tequila,  etc occasionally.

Avoid mixed drinks aka cocktails as it packs extra sugars which means more carbs for less alcohol.
No drinking before bed since it affects blood sugar levels which results in night-munchies and less quality sleep.

And since we are suggesting: not drinking every day as it may get you addicted to it and cause damage to your metabolism and liver.

2. Alcohol benefits as an Antidote

Have you ever been offered brandy on a cold, winter night? That is because it is a temporary solution to feeling warm as alcohol raises body temperature.

*Antioxidants found in red wine are also said to be used as a precaution against cold

*Factually, wines are also prescribed during the flu season to enhance the effects of vaccines.

3. Alcohol benefits for the Heart

Drinking moderately can help lower the risk of heart diseases due to it packing antioxidants, HDL aka good cholesterol and anti-clotting agents. This consequently helps prevent heart attacks, common strokes, diabetes, gallstones, etc.

However, it is not recommended for a nondrinker to start drinking for reaping these benefits as per the American Heart Association (AHA).

4. Alcohol and Workouts

Consumed in moderate amounts and occasionally, alcohol can be paired up with your workout regime to reap its maximum benefits. Here are a few to consider:

  • Wine for your waistline: with the antioxidant count of phenol in white wine, you can target weight loss while also keeping your wallet happy. For reds, darker the red, lesser the dread of calories. The ellagic acid in wine helps with managing the metabolism rate of the liver to reduce fats, and obesity by slowing the growth of fat cells. This also prevents the growth of new fat cells.
  • Enhance workout performance: Resveratrol in red wine facilitates muscle strength and improves the blood flow which directly affects endurance. This is similar to what happens during endurance training.
  • Post-workout Beer: for hydration, grab yourself an ice-cold beer instead of Gatorade or water.
  • The study suggests that it can not only hydrate better but also make up for the lost calories (not the ones you burned but the ones expelled after an intense workout).
  • De-stress your sore muscles: for those who participate in intense workouts and also workout daily, alcohol increases tolerance to muscle soreness or reduces sensitivity due to the analgesic effects of alcohol indigestion.
5. Alcohol benefits for your libido

The antioxidants found in the infamous grapes that make wine an aphrodisiac for good reasons. In men, it reduces prevents erectile dysfunction and for women, it offers increased sexual desire.

This is because these antioxidants help relax artery walls which consequently increases blood flow down ‘there’ to incite desire.

With everything said and done, it is not suggested to start drinking only for the sake of these benefits if one does not know how to drink well or practice healthy drinking. If ignored, alcohol can harm more than it can benefit with ease and all these benefits may turn into troubles as this medicine turns to poison.

Undeniably, let this provide as a reminder to not feel guilty for enjoying a glass for your health.

Cheers to healthy drinking.