A look at the healthiest approaches to drinking alcohol

Apr 30 2015 - 5:29pm

While abstinence is the best policy when it comes to drinking alcohol, most people are not willing to forgo drinking altogether. Small amounts of alcohol can be great for socializing and unwinding. However, too much alcohol can lead to problems.

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healthy alcohol drinking

Tips, tricks and advice

If you want to find that fine line between drinking too much and not drinking at all, you need to pay attention to various health factors, tips and tricks. The following tips will provide a healthier guide to drinking.

Spread it out

You should not assume that because you do not drink during the week, you can have a few extra drinks on the weekend. It is better to spread out your alcohol consumption as opposed to binge-drinking which is more than four drinks in a two hour span for women or more than five drinks for men. Your liver has trouble processing that much alcohol in such a short period of time, and excessive drinking rapidly raises your blood pressure.

It is not all about the hangover

While the average drinker’s goal is to avoid a hangover, and hangover-free wine is currently being discussed, headaches and nausea are not the only signs that alcohol is wreaking havoc on your body. The most dangerous aspect of drinking is the long-term, internal effects that develop. However, even if you have mastered the art of moderation, you should not assume your habits are healthy.

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On the rocks, please

A healthier way to drink, at least in terms of reducing your calorie intake, is to order a drink on the rocks. Whiskey, vodka, gin and scotch are all fine choices. Vodka contains the lowest number of calories with an estimated 97 calories per 1.5 ounce serving. If you do add mixers, keep in mind that a single serving of pineapple juice can add an extra 130 to 140 calories while ginger ale usually has 124 calories and 30 or more grams of carbs.

Stay away from beer

It is a painful realization, but beer is awful for you. The large majority has more than 130 calories, and some come in at around 20 or more grams of carbs. It adds extra weight to the phrase, “Having a couple of beers.” If you love beer and cannot help yourself, then opt for a light beer. Miller Light has an estimated 96 carbs and is a good alternative to heavier selections.

Avoid the nightcap

Drinking right before bed or within two hours of bedtime may help you fall asleep faster, but it will actually diminish your overall quality of sleep by interrupting your body’s natural REM sleep later in the night. This can have a major impact on your waking hours and leave you feeling tired. A drink with dinner is okay, but it is probably best to cut out the nightcap.

By keeping these tips in mind, you can become a more responsible drinker. While not drinking is always the best choice, following this advice can help you find a good balance.

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