People have enjoyed the intoxicating taste of alcoholic beverages and have been staples in parties and social gatherings. As delicious as they are, alcohol can cause health risks when consumed excessively. There’s nothing wrong with having a drink as long as you know your limits. It’s crucial to find balance and moderate your consumption to lessen your health and safety risks.
In fact, studies have found that there are tons of health benefits from drinking alcohol moderately. Here are a few examples.
Health Benefits of Alcohol
1. Reduces Risks of Heart Diseases
A study from Harvard has found that alcohol can be good for the heart because it raises our body’s level of high-density lipoprotein or good cholesterol, which serves as protection against cardiovascular diseases like stroke and heart attack.
Other heart health benefits of alcohol include improving insulin sensitivity, which helps prevent the formation of small blood clots that block the arteries in the brain, neck, and heart.
2. Improves Libido
Drinking alcohol moderately affects libido levels. For one, alcohol was found to reduce erectile dysfunction among 25 % to 30% of drinkers, based on a study conducted in Australia. Some studies also suggest that a low dose of alcohol increases testosterone levels, which can increase arousal and sexual desire. However, too much alcohol can lead to lower genital response and physical arousal.
3. Reduces Risks of Dementia
A study from 1977 found that moderate drinkers are 23% less likely to develop cognitive impairments like Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia. While the study shows remarkable findings, the author and experts do not recommend non-drinkers start drinking to reap the benefits and only reinforce the benefits of moderate drinking.
4. Increases Common Cold Resistance
Drinking moderate amounts of alcohol can increase common cold resistance for non-smokers. Experts say that drinking at least eight glasses of wine per week helps increase resistance to common colds by 60% because the rich antioxidant in wine combats free radicals.
5. Lowers Risk of Death
One of the fantastic health benefits of alcoholic beverages is that they can lower the risk of death for moderate drinkers. Men and women who only drank four or two drinks per day, respectively, can reduce their risk of death by 18%; sticking to these recommended alcohol intake per day increases mortality as it lessens chances to develop terminal diseases and avoid impaired or drunk driving.
6. Prevents Diabetes
A Dutch study showed that healthy adults who daily consume 1 to 2 alcoholic beverages reduce their risk of developing type 2 diabetes compared to non-drinkers. This is because research found that alcoholic drinks help increase adiponectin levels, a hormone that improves insulin sensitivity that combats type 2 diabetes by regulating blood sugar levels.
Of course, along with a moderate intake of alcohol, it helps to have a proper diet, exercise, and lifestyle.
7. Reduces Risk of Gallstones
Reducing the intake of alcoholic drinks to two per day helps tremendously in lowering the risk of developing gallstones, according to several studies from England and China. The results show that consuming alcohol moderately helps produce bile, which keeps gallstones from forming.
8. Improves Bone Health
It’s a normal part of aging for people to lose bone mass and density; mainly, postmenopausal women are more prone to this because of smaller bones and hormonal changes. Fortunately, one of the benefits of alcohol consumption is helping slow down bone loss in menopausal women, lowering their risks of developing osteoporosis and other bone disorders.
9. Decreases the Development of Arthritis
Alcoholic beverages have anti-inflammatory properties, which prevent joints from swelling and aching due to rheumatoid arthritis. A 2010 report showed that abstainers are more likely to develop arthritis than those with at least one drink three times per week. In addition, arthritic moderate drinkers also show less severe symptoms. Meanwhile, heavy drinking can harm those with arthritis, worsening symptoms and affecting medication.
10. Improves Mental Health
Aside from physical benefits, drinking alcohol moderately also covers psychological health. Experts determined that those who consume low to moderate alcohol showed increased happiness. There are also decreases in tension, depression, and self-consciousness compared to heavy drinkers and abstainers who are more likely to develop clinical depression.
However, it is recommended to seek guidance from a doctor if you’re dealing with heavy stress, anxiety, and depression rather than relying on alcohol use. Having a medical expert guide your intake also helps in moderating alcohol consumption.
How To Regulate Alcohol Consumption
Responsible drinking is crucial if you want to reap the healthy benefits of alcohol. Changing your drinking habits starts with making wise choices and knowing your limits. Here are a few tips to help regulate alcohol consumption:
1. Identify and adjust your drinking habits.
There are many possible reasons why people drink alcohol. Recognizing your own drinking patterns will help you get to the root cause of your behavior. Do you drink when stressed? Or do you drink more when in company of others? How frequent do you sip wine? Once you’ve figured this out, you can set better goals and set boundaries to form better decisions before drinking.
For example, if you tend to drink more with friends, you can talk to them about your goals so they are aware of your drinking limit. They might also suggest better ways to bond and socialize with you.
2. Keep track of your consumption.
Health experts recommend two drinks per day for men and one for women to sustain moderate alcohol consumption. Also, take note of your drink’s size and alcohol level. It’s recommended only to consume beverages in standard sizes like 12-ounce bottles for beers, 5-ounce for a glass of wine, and cocktails with 5% alcohol. This could help you pace yourself when alcohol is involved.
3. Learn to say no.
As mentioned above, social situations and peer pressure are triggers for over drinking. To combat this, decide on a specific limit for alcohol consumption and stick to it. This could mean a certain number of drinks or a particular amount of time spent drinking. This way, you’ll set a boundary between yourself and the situation.
If you’re drinking with a group that oversteps your boundaries, you can reevaluate the crowd you’re hanging out with.
4. Get a support system.
As mentioned in the last tip, you can find a better crowd or support system that will help you achieve your goals to lessen alcohol intake. Your support system could be your most trusted friends or professional support from medical professionals. There are also various online support groups navigating alcohol moderation.
5. Develop better coping mechanisms.
If you use alcohol to deal with stress or negative feelings, finding a healthier coping mechanism that impacts your overall health is better. For example, when stressed, head to a park or gym instead of going to a bar on a Saturday night to unwind. This way, you’ll get endorphins, exercise, and better habits. You can also practice meditating or getting new hobbies to get your mind off drinking.
It’s common knowledge how bad alcohol is for you when excessive, but there are also undeniable positive effects that come with drinking in moderation. However, it’s important to establish better lifestyle choices like improvement in diet and increased movement rather than relying solely on alcohol. Responsible drinking is vital to a healthier body, mind, and soul.
Drink Responsibly with Our Finest Bottles at Village Warehouse Wine & Spirits.
Responsible drinking is one of our primary concerns at Village Warehouse Wine & Spirits. As your trusted liquor store in Vail, Colorado, we prioritize your health and safety regarding drinking. We provide various bottles with various alcohol content to help you moderate your drinking. Our staff will gladly assist you in choosing the best bottle for different occasions and celebrations. Visit us today.