Healthier options for alcoholic drinks

Excessive drinking may affect your menstrual cycle and potentially increase your risk for infertility. Chronic drinking can affect your heart and lungs, raising your risk of developing heart-related health issues. Over time, drinking can also damage your frontal lobe, the part of the brain responsible for executive functions, like abstract reasoning, decision making, social behavior, and performance. Slurred speech, a key sign of intoxication, happens because alcohol reduces communication between your brain and body. This makes speech and coordination — think reaction time and balance — more difficult. That’s one major reason why you should never drive after drinking.

“Clear liquors like vodka, tequila, and gin are lowest in sugar and calories and are easiest for our bodies to metabolize,” Kober says. Drinking an excessive amount of alcohol can have a negative impact on the hair. Overall, the studies had small sample sizes and short durations. More research is necessary to explore any further associations across bigger samples and longer time periods. Create healthy, balanced meals using this visual guide as a blueprint. Alcohol is a popular substance enjoyed by millions all over the world.

Healthiest alcoholic drinks

This flavorsome spirit contains natural sugars called agavins, which may support digestive health and weight management. Additional benefits may include protection from some neurodegenerative diseases. If you’re wondering whether you should cut back on your drinking, here’s what to know about when and how alcohol impacts your health. Recent research makes it clear that any amount of drinking can be detrimental. Here’s why you may want to cut down on your consumption beyond Dry January. When consumed, alcohol is absorbed by the stomach and small intestine and enters the bloodstream.

  • Fermented alcoholic beverages, such as beer and wine, contain polyphenols such as resveratrol.
  • Although the health concerns of alcohol outweigh the benefits, studies have shown that red wine is a rich source of resveratrol.
  • Past guidance around alcohol use generally suggests a daily drink poses little risk of negative health effects — and might even offer a few health benefits.
  • Drinking alcohol on a regular basis can also lead to dependence, which means your body and brain have grown used to alcohol’s effects.

“When consumed in excess, any type of alcohol, including red wine, is going to affect blood pressure,” she adds. It’s true that alcohol, whether you have high blood pressure or not, will temporarily increase is alcohol good for you your blood pressure levels. And over time, if you drink more than one to two drinks per day, you increase your risk of hypertension that needs to be treated, according to the American Heart Association (AHA).

Risks start from the first drop

For this reason, your liver is particularly vulnerable to damage by alcohol intake (3). When it comes to alcohol, if you don’t drink, don’t start for health reasons. In the United States, people younger than age 21 are not legally able to drink alcohol. And drinking raises the risk of problems in the digestive system. There’s a lot you can do to bring down your BP if you’re concerned about your numbers. If you drink, taking a look at your alcohol intake is a good place to start.

Moderate drinkers are far more likely to exercise than people who don’t drink. On the flip side, the more you exercise, the more likely you are to drink now and then. Throughout the 10,000 or so years that humans have been drinking fermented beverages, they’ve also been arguing about their merits and demerits. The debate still simmers today, with a lively back-and-forth over whether alcohol is good for you or bad for you. In the US, one standard drink is any drink that contains 0.6 fluid ounces (14 grams) of pure alcohol (ethanol).

Ways to reduce risks

“Ethanol in the bloodstream, and its metabolite acetaldehyde, damage human tissue,” he says, “and the brain is not protected from those effects.” While moderate alcohol consumption may have some potential benefits, the negative effects of long-term or excessive alcohol drinking outweigh these benefits. If you’re in good shape, moderate drinking makes you 25% to 40% less likely to have a heart attack, stroke, or hardened arteries.

is alcohol good for you

It doesn’t matter how much you drink – the risk to the drinker’s health starts from the first drop of any alcoholic beverage. That’s the best way to describe the relationship between alcohol and health. As I’ve written about before, a number of studies have demonstrated health benefits with lower amounts of drinking. But if you drink too much alcohol (especially at inopportune times), there may be significant harms as well.

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