As temperatures warm and people flock outdoors to enjoy the season, the opportunity to enjoy a drink or two increases. Finishing off some yard work or sitting outside to relax with your drink of choice is a nice way to celebrate the season.
Alcohol intake is associated with both health benefits and risks. Striking the balance between the two is important if you seek to make the most out of your drinks.
Several studies have shown J- or U-shaped curves to illustrate the relationship between alcohol consumption and health risks. Many of the risks associated with alcohol are related to the cardiovascular and circulatory systems.
Alcohol intake appears to offer some benefit for your veins and heart at low doses. Some research has found that a half-drink per day, or a full drink every two days, may be when the benefit is at its highest: relaxed veins, easy blood flow, and less strain on the heart.
Heavy drinking, on the other hand, has the opposite effect. It can stiffen veins and boost the risk of high blood pressure and heart disease.
Studies have also shown that light/moderate drinking, 1-2 drinks per day, may reduce the risk of heart failure or at least have a neutral effect.
Other studies show that red wine may offer the greatest positive effects, while other studies indicate the type of alcohol does not matter.
Basically, this stuff can get confusing.
Further, your overall health will likely influence how strongly the negative effects of alcohol may influence health. It’s possible that a person who lives a healthy lifestyle maintains a healthy weight, and eats a nutritious diet may be more resistant to the negative effects.
In any event, it’s important to stick to the general guidelines around alcohol consumption and limit intake to one or two drinks per day. When you do drink, try to avoid those mixed with sugary beverages or high-alcohol cocktails. Stick to wine, beer, or spirits.
Light to moderate alcohol consumption is unlikely to harm your veins, while too much may contribute to problems. Enjoy the season responsibly for the best outcome.