Do you imbibe? Do you like to have a drink or a beer or a glass of wine every now and then?
Does it ever progress past now and then? How much does this affect your health? And how many calories are you really consuming?
I like beer. I like to have one or two beers occasionally. Even Lance Amstrong, who was meticulous about his food, liked to have an occasional beer. He was known to even weigh his food to make sure he was eating the right amount.
Alcohol, like most things in life, is fine in moderation. But too much, and it can harm you for life.
At it’s base, alcohol is a toxin that has to be processed by the liver. Alcohol contributes to inflammation throughout the body. Too much alcohol will exacerbate, or make worse, most health issues, physical and mental.
Binge drinking, according to the National Institute o Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, is about four or more drinks for women and five or more drinks for men within two hours.
According to a study published in the journal PLOS ONE, binge drinkers had elevated levels of certain toxins in the blood that were released from cells after they were damaged by alcohol. They also showed bacterial DNA in the bloodstream, which is a sign that bacteria had leaked from the gut.
Even with the issues associated with binge drinking, there are health benefits to drinking alcohol. But the benefits only come from drinking moderately throughout life.
So what is moderate? According to Sam Zakhari, senior vice president of the Distilled Spirits Council, “defined by the U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans, moderate drinking is no more than one drink per day for women and no more than two for men.”
Zakhari says there are many health benefits to moderate drinking.
Alcohol helps to thin the blood. This can help prevent blood clot formation, and having a stroke or heart attack.
Since alcohol thins the blood, it also benefits the body by making it easier for blood to flow to the brain. This brings more oxygen to the brain. This can help to prevent cognitive decline.
According to Zakhari “decline in cognition is usually due to the brain not receiving enough oxygen.”
A study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease found that women who drank moderately did better on a cognitive functioning test than did those who drank heavily and those who abstained.
So how many calories are you really drinking when you consume alcohol? A study from Cancer Research UK found that the average British adult will consume around 3,740 calories of alcohol at holiday parties over the course of the holiday season.
According to Dr. David Sack, CEO of Promises Treatment Centers, beer has the most calories. It comes in at around 150 calories per serving or beer. Wine, hard alcohol, and light beer all come in around 100 calories per serving, or shot, or glass (as long as the glass isn’t a big gulp).
I feel lucky that I get bad hangovers. If i drink more than 3 beers i get a bad headache the next day. My stomach will be off and sour, and i just won’t feel right. That keeps me from drinking too much, and binge drinking. I like waking up early and exercising and being productive way too much to give it up for a night of drinking.
If you drink, moderation is the key. If you can’t keep it to 1 or 2 drinks, then alcohol might not be for you.
If you can keep it to 1 or 2 drinks, then alcohol can be a nice addition to many meals.
Exercise moderately, eat healthy moderately, and drink alcohol moderately. “If a little bit is good, then a lot is great”, is not very accurate.
Be smart about your health. Listen to your body, it won’t lie to you. This, is the Pain Free Way.