It’s hot out there. If you’re sitting around the yard or the balcony, you might want to quench your thirst with a cold beverage. Sometimes that beverage will be a cold beer, glass of wine, or refreshing cocktail.
Alcohol can be extremely controversial. On the one hand, there are definite health risks associated with consumption. Booze has been proven to cause liver damage and is associated with heart disease and other chronic illnesses.
On the other hand, there are some benefits associated with light or moderate drinking. It can offer benefits for mental health through stress relief or socialization, while there is also data showing red wine can improve circulation and vein health.
There is even new research to indicate alcohol may improve memory and cognition.
Because of alcohol’s prevalence in North American society, there are “safe limits” recommended by governments and health organizations. Depending on where you live and your gender, “safe” consumption is anywhere between 7 and 15 drinks per week.
One drink is classified as 12 oz of 5% alcohol beer, 5 oz. of wine, or 1.5 oz. of liquor/spirits.
New research out of Canada, however, is showing that sticking to moderate alcohol consumption does not insulate people from harm. The data showed that 38 percent of all alcohol-attributable deaths were experienced by people drinking below the weekly limits.
Researchers also found that below-guideline drinkers experienced alcohol-related death and disabilities from a variety of causes.
So, what are we supposed to do? When it comes to booze, less is always best. But it’s tough to overlook the social benefits of alcohol. If you’re engaging in a few drinks every once in a while with friends, or to help you enjoy a relaxing evening, it is likely worthwhile.
The key is to limit the occasions where you’re consuming and how much you’re having.
Overall lifestyle is another factor to consider. If you’re otherwise healthy, active, and eat a healthy diet, it’s possible alcohol might not have the same risks. The less your body has to deal with, the better it might be able to absorb potential toxins.
There are arguments for and against alcohol consumption. The choice is yours. If you elect to drink, stick to one or two while trying to avoid use most days of the week.