Alcohol is one of those substances that can have both positive and negative effects on the body, with the latter manifesting much more often.
Yes, getting drunk can make you feel good for a couple of hours, but there are many things going on with your body, which you simply can’t feel until it’s too late.
Here’s an insight into drinking - how much is too much, what the word “moderation” means, and even, when drinking in moderation can also be bad. Yes, you probably know it but we could all do with a reminder every now and then.
Why Do We Get Drunk?
When consuming alcoholic beverages, your liver starts breaking it down, utilizing a flurry of powerful enzymes.
Enzymes are basically molecules that speed up the rate of the chemical reactions occurring in your body.
The state we refer to as “drunkenness” occurs when you consume alcohol faster than you can break it down.
The body can break down one standard drink per hour and in most cases, people go way above that.
However, given that getting drunk is one of the purposes of drinking alcohol in the first place, an important question comes to mind...
How Much Is Too Much?
Whether we’re talking about alcohol, water, food, or anything else that you put in the body, moderation should be one of your main rules of thumb.
Specifically, for alcohol, the dietary guidelines for Americans define drinking in moderation, as having 1 drink and 2 drinks per day, for females and males, respectively.
It is important to note here that a “drink” is usually defined as a 350 ml beer, not a large whiskey!
Certainly, consuming harsh alcohol daily will manifest alcohol’s side effects much quicker than a beer or two.
When Is Moderation Bad?
If you are generally healthy, and have good nutritional, sleeping and training habits, having alcohol in moderation will have little to no side effects.
However, in certain cases, even low alcohol consumption may have certain side effects.
Try and avoid alcohol, if you:
Are about to participate in physical activities
Take medication that interacts with alcohol
Have a health condition that may worsen with alcohol consumption
Find it difficult to control your alcohol intake after you start drinking
Are trying to have children (alcohol may worsen the function of your reproductive system)
Can Alcohol Do You Good?
Though binge drinking is a common practice amongst many age groups, the fact of the matter is that certain alcoholic drinks can actually have some positive effects on the body, although there are always conflicting reports coming out on this subject.
Of course, this is in the context of moderation, on top of healthy overall habits.
Here are, supposedly, the top 2 healthiest alcoholic drinks and their possible positive effects on the body:
1. Red wine
It has been said that red wine has certain antioxidants, along with polyphenols, which can promote heart/overall health and protect your cells from damage. It has also been scientifically proven to improve the health of your heart, brain and even bones!
So, if you do fancy a drink get yourself a glass of red wine! It also goes well with a steak, so you can’t really go wrong here (unless you have too much).
As you can see, this 2-points list consists of alcoholic beverages that have a low alcohol percentage (~14% for red wine and ~4.5% for beer).
This low alcohol content is a part of the reason why these drinks can have positive effects on your body.
Just like wine, beer has its antioxidants, which are slightly different, due to the fact that beer is derived from barley and hops, instead of grapes.
Nevertheless, antioxidants are always good and in the case of beer, they are especially good for the kidneys.
Alcohol consumption is often linked to binge drinking and a very prominent state of drunkenness.
And while getting drunk regularly will inevitably lead to certain side effects, the fact of the matter is that alcohol, in moderation can actually be good for you!
If you are a generally healthy individual, you don’t really have to cut out alcohol altogether.
Just make sure to consume the right alcohol, in the right amounts and always, have it lay on top of some quality, nutritious food!