Alcohol is the most popular recreational drug in the world. The pleasures of drinking alcohol are undeniable. When you start drinking you feel more relaxed, more confident and sociable. But we also know that drinking too much alcohol is bad for us. The short term effects can be hangover, tiredness but in the long run, it can increase the risk of developing heart disease, liver cirrhosis, stroke etc. High alcohol intake may also disrupt our mental health and impair memory.
Alcohol, or (ethanol), refers to the intoxicating ingredient found in hard liquor. One small drink (30ml) per day for healthy women and no more than two small drinks per day for healthy men would be considered a moderate intake.
Research suggests that moderate amount of alcohol can be good for your health, but it can also be harmful. It all depends on how much you drink, your age, sex, family history, medical complaints and other factors.
People who shouldn’t consume alcohol include children & adolescents, pregnant & lactating mothers, women at risk of breast cancer, people who are under medications and who have any medical problems like liver conditions.
Excess alcohol can increase your risk of:
- Liver disease
- High blood pressure
- High blood fats (triglycerides)
- Heart failure
- Fetal alcohol syndrome (if you’re pregnant)
- Certain cancers
- Injury, violence, and death
And, of course, drinking too much alcohol piles on the calories, which can lead to obesity and a higher risk for diabetes.
Alcohol is metabolized extremely quickly by the body. Unlike food, which requires time for digestion, alcohol needs no digestion and is quickly absorbed. Alcohol travels through the body from the mouth, to the stomach, into the circulatory system, the brain, kidneys, lungs, and liver.
Calorie value of different alcoholic drinks is given as follows-
|Sr. No.||Alcoholic Beverage||Serving Size||Kcal per serving size|
|1||Beer||355 ml (1 can)||153|
|2||Red Wine||150 ml (1 glass)||128|
|3||White Wine||150 ml (1 glass)||123|
|5||Vodka||25 ml (1 shot)||58|
|6||Gin||25 ml (1 shot)||66|
|9||Tequila||25 ml (1 shot)||28|
Also, with the above mentioned drinks people do add some of the carbonated beverages and various mixes to make a cocktail which hugely adds on to the calorie content.
Tips to reduce the risk to your health when drinking
- Eat before you drink
- Space your drinks with water and other non-alcoholic drinks
- Organise safe transport (e utilise the bus service)
- Say no when you know you’ve had enough
- Don’t leave your drink unattended
- Don’t mix alcohol with other drugs
- Don’t drink at all before undertaking any risky activities (e swimming, driving or boating)
- Support your friend’s decision if they choose not to drink
In conclusion, moderate use of alcohol can be an enjoyable and safe experience if consumed with caution. If you do choose to drink, sip each drink slowly, and always consume alcohol with food. Consume plenty of water in between drinks. Never drink while pregnant and never drive when intoxicated.
ANJALI MUKERJEE, Nutritionist, Founder Director-Health Total, having health centres in Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Pune, Nashik, Indore.
Health Total treats obesity & other health related disorders.
Contact numbers: 1800 266 0607 / 022-672 66888
For further information, visit www.health-total.com