Firstly, is there any benefit to drinking alcohol? With conflicting reports in the media we thought we would do a little digging so you don’t have too.
There are benefits to certain alcohols such as antioxidants in small amounts.
The best alcohol to drink is red wine. It contains an antioxidant called resveratrol – it is an ingredient that helps prevent damage to blood vessels, reduces low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, also known as bad cholesterol, and prevents blood clots. Moreover, resveratrol is also connected to a lower risk of inflammation and blood clotting that cause heart diseases.
Tequila contains the natural sugars called agavins that are not digestible, so it means that it doesn’t raise blood sugar levels (agavins behave as fibre in our body). Moreover as mentioned, these sugars help lowering cholesterol and losing weight.
How about whisky? Have you heard that whisky is a healthy option? OK – Why?
Whisky has the same amount anti-oxidants as wine that we mentioned above. First of all, Whisky Contains ellagic acid that helps rogue cells to be absorbed in our body. What else?
Whisky has no sugar, fat, carbohydrates, and helps you with losing weight. Boom! That means that whisky is also good for diabetics. Moreover, for the diabetics, whisky is said to protect against type-2 diabetes. You can say that some whisky has a very sweet taste. This is because the taste comes from certain oils and compounds but it’s definitely not sugar.
What’s that? It’s an alcoholic drink that consists of vodka and tomato juice, sometimes Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco and salt. Why is it a healthy drink? Tomato juice has antioxidants, lycopene, C and potassium. That is why it’s one of the healthiest drink for you and your body.
Another alcohol is champagne. Champagne contains high levels of polyphenols. Those antioxidants can lower blood pressure and prevent heart problems. Champagne can also prevent you from getting dementia, makes your skin look better and helps your memory to be sharper.
Ok, so from now on we know what kind of alcohol is the best but how about units? How much is too much? Is there any difference between women and men?
Women weigh less than men in general. The threshold for safe alcohol consumption is closely linked to body weight. That means that women have smaller tissue to absorb alcohol as well as women having less water in their bodies than men. Women’s alcohol dehydrogenase level is lower than in males. It means that alcohol stays in the female body longer and builds up quickly. One of the most important issues are hormonal factors. Female hormones make women more susceptible to the effects of alcohol.
How about units?
One unit (10ml) is the equivalent of:
A single measure of spirits (ABV 37.5%), half a pint of average-strength (4%) lager, two-thirds of a 125ml glass of average-strength (12%) wine, half a 175ml glass of average-strength (12%) wine, a third of a 250ml glass of average-strength (12%) wine.
How much is 14 units? And why 14?
14 units it’s a maximum level of alcohol for both man and woman per WEEK. Yes, WEEK.
14 single measures of spirits (ABV 37.5%), seven pints of average-strength (4%) lager, nine and one-third 125ml glasses of average-strength (12%) wine, seven 175ml glasses of average-strength (12%) wine, four and two-thirds 250ml glasses of average-strength (12%) wine.
They also estimate around 10 days a year is lost to people partying a little too hard and having to call in sick, it is also estimated that alcohol related incidents cost the NHS £3.5bn per year that means that every taxpayer has to pay 120 pounds. To sum up, treating alcohol-related conditions costs the NHS about 3.6% of its annual budget.
So, in terms of your health how much of a good thing is too much? Alcohol can affect a number of things from your perception, judgement and also your liver, kidneys and brain. So understanding your limits is imperative when it comes to drinking alcohol.
What are the disadvantages of drinking alcohol?
Some of the well-known cancers e.g. liver cancer, including breast cancer and cancers of the mouth, throat, oesophagus, pancreatitis, sudden death if you already have cardiovascular disease, heart muscle damage (alcoholic cardiomyopathy) leading to heart failure, stroke, also high blood pressure, brain damage.
Exceeding the daily or weekly recommendations can have a disastrous effect on your health and the cycle can be difficult to break. Consider reaching out for help if you think your alcohol intake has become a problem and you are struggling to control it. When do you HAVE to quit drinking? Obviously, if you are pregnant, you are an alcoholic or you have a strong family history of alcoholism, when you had a haemorrhagic stroke, when you have problems with your liver, when you have problems with your heart and when you take prescription or over-the-counter medications that can interact with alcohol badly.