Sober living

A New Study Says There’s No Amount of Healthy Drinking

You don’t need to have a ‘rock bottom’ to seek treatment and community. Connecting with medical professionals and a peer support network can give you the tools to reach your goals, and set you up for long-term success. “They make the people who continue to drink look healthy by comparison,” Stockwell said. “The most likely, obvious explanation is that women’s bodies process alcohol differently. Their livers are smaller, on average,” Stockwell said. “Another factor, though, is that men, on average, drink more than women and because they have more tolerance to it and are metabolizing it more efficiently, that can also give the appearance of relatively less harm per unit of alcohol.”

However, a prospective study following almost 15,000 men at four-year periods found only an increased risk of minor weight gain with higher intakes of alcohol. [19] Compared to those who did not change their alcohol intake, those who increased their intake by 2 or more drinks a day gained a little more than a half-pound. It was noted that calorie intake (not from alcohol) tended to increase along with alcohol intake.

Alcohol use: Weighing risks and benefits

Researchers examined data on drinking habits and cancer cases among almost 400,000 people in the U.K. Biobank and found that people with the highest BMIs were 53 percent more likely to develop alcohol-related cancer even when they drank in moderation, following drink moderately dietary guidelines for alcohol consumption. By limiting your alcohol intake you’re lowering your risk of certain health conditions, including cardiovascular and liver disease. It also helps to regulate your blood pressure and improve your cognitive functioning.

Why am I boring when not drinking?

It's pretty normal to feel bored in early sobriety, but it's kind of related to not being used to feeling calm or peace. The feeling of things being too quiet or empty does pass. Don't be scared. I promise you will have so much fun in life without alcohol.

QF measures currently may be the most widely used instruments with which to measure drinking in most countries, including the United States. Generally, the quantity question asks for the typical number of drinks consumed per occasion, providing the respondent with some definition of a drink (e.g., one 12 oz can or bottle of beer) on which to base his or her answer. A popular variant of the QF methodology is represented by self-administered, semiquantitative food-frequency questionnaires, which assess the consumption of different foods (see, for example, the questionnaire developed by Willett and colleagues [1988]).

Is Moderating Drinking Possible for Alcoholics?

By being conscious of your drinking habits, you can find what helps you drink responsibly and practice pacing yourself. Moderate drinking isn’t something that occurs overnight, but can be rewarding as you begin to change your relationship with alcohol. Rather than turning to alcohol as a way to cope or socialize, changing your drinking behavior can open up new opportunities to promote self-care and well-being without the need to drink. But Gakidou said that as a general principle, people who drink in moderation shouldn’t worry too much about health concerns. At the end of four to six months of treatment with the Sinclair Method, 80% of people who had been overusing alcohol were either drinking moderately or abstaining entirely.

  • However, light wines may have an alcohol content in the neighborhood of 7 percent, whereas fortified wines (which include added distilled spirits) may range up to 24 percent alcohol by volume or higher.
  • Rarely, if ever, do heavy drinkers choose to give up alcohol for good until they are convinced by their own experience that moderation is simply not attainable.
  • Regular moderate drinkers are less likely to get kidney stones — 41% less likely for those who drink beer, 33% for wine drinkers.
  • If you’re drinking on an empty stomach, alcohol quickly passes through the stomach and into the small intestine, where it’s absorbed into the bloodstream, causing intoxicative effects.
  • Your buzzed self will actually have more fun and thank you later since it no longer has to do “on the spot thinking” about how much to drink.

Accordingly, a drink should be defined in terms of alcohol content, so that a drink of beer contains approximately the same amount of alcohol as a drink of wine or spirits. At first glance, this requirement appears to be a simple mathematical problem of comparing the alcohol contents of several beverages. In fact, however, such comparisons are rather complicated, because even within one beverage category (e.g., beer, wine, or distilled spirits), the alcohol contents may differ considerably. [18] An earlier study suggested that getting 600 micrograms a day of folate could counteract the effect of moderate alcohol consumption on breast cancer risk.

Brain Health and Moderate Drinking

On the other hand, alcohol abuse and alcohol addiction are linked to severe negative effects on both physical and mental health. Keep in mind that your cancer risk may increase — regardless of how much you are drinking. Heavy drinking and beer are linked to increased weight gain, while light to moderate drinking and wine are linked to reduced weight gain. While alcohol intoxication is only temporary, chronic alcohol abuse can impair brain function permanently.

What does moderately drinking mean?

Moderation is defined as no more than one drink per day for women and no more than two drinks per day for men. A drink is considered to be 12 oz regular beer, 5 oz wine, or 1.5 oz 80-proof distilled spirits.

She is co-host and co-creator of the Happy Eating Podcast, a podcast that breaks down the connection between food and mental wellness. Brierley previously served as Food & Nutrition Director for Cooking Light magazine and the Nutrition Editor at EatingWell magazine. She holds a master’s degree in Nutrition Communications from the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University. Her work has appeared in Better Homes & Gardens, Southern Living, Real Simple,, TheKitchn and more.

Moderate drinking

For some people, learning how to drinking more moderately and safely is a realistic and attainable goal. For others, moderation is a first step toward  quitting alcohol entirely either temporarily or for the long term. Once you have enough data, you can identify a “magic number” of your ideal number of drinks, or your “drinking sweet spot”.

  • And some people should not drink at all, like women who are pregnant or might be pregnant — and people with certain health conditions.
  • More detailed and specific questions also elicit higher estimates of alcohol consumption.
  • For some types of cancer, the risk increases even at low levels of drinking (for example, less than 1 drink in a day).
  • There are many studies that discuss the benefits of moderate alcohol consumption.
  • But guidelines about alcohol consumption issued by numerous health organizations have been amended to include the proviso that people should not drink alcohol for the express purpose of improving their health.

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