How Much Alcohol is Safe to Drink on a Weekly Basis?
Alcohol is enjoyed by millions around the world, but also has a bad reputation because of its addictiveness, and the array of health problems it can create and exacerbate.
The old adage of drinking in moderation sounds good in theory, but in practice it’s tough to know what’s a safe amount of alcohol to consume, what’s a step too far, and what’s a real red flag.
There’s all sorts of advice and guidance out there, some of it conflicting, so how should you manage your own drinking habits if you’re aiming to be healthy, happy and live a balanced life?
The Health Risks of Excessive Alcohol Consumption
There’s no point beating about the bush; too much alcohol can be a serious health risk. Acknowledging this fact is the first step to understanding what constitutes a safe amount to imbibe from week to week.
Heavy drinking increases the risk of liver disease, cancer, and stroke. It also affects your concentration levels and coordination, making it more difficult to do everyday tasks such as driving safely or walking without stumbling.
In addition to physical risks associated with heavy drinking, there are mental health issues too; from anxiety to depression or even suicidal thoughts – all caused by excessive consumption of alcohol.
Regularly consuming large quantities over a long period will damage not just your body but also relationships around you – causing problems in family life or at work.
What is Binge Drinking and Why is it a Problem?
Binge drinking is an activity that can easily spiral out of control and become dangerous. Consuming large amounts of alcohol in one sitting puts you at risk for serious health problems, as well as increases the chances of making bad decisions such as getting behind the wheel while intoxicated or engaging in other risky behaviors.
The short-term impacts of binge drinking on your body include nausea, vomiting, headache, dizziness and blackouts – all symptoms that are not only unpleasant but also potentially harmful if left unchecked.
Additionally, binge drinking has long-term consequences such as addiction to alcohol. It can narrow your social circles, damage your social and professional life, and hurt your career.
So don’t think that just because you stay sober all week, only to go wild at the weekend, you’re avoiding the worst effects of alcohol. Binge drinking remains a major societal issue, and one which has to be combated with healthier habits and increased awareness.
Alcohol Guidelines: What is the Recommended Amount Per Week?
The advice regarding alcohol consumption varies, as mentioned. For instance, authorities in the US suggest that moderate drinking represents 2 drinks a day for men and 1 for women.
Of course the suggestion here isn’t that you can follow this day by day and not worry about your health; it’s actually more stringent than it seems. They’re saying that on the days you do have a drink, stopping after one or two is wise.
Meanwhile in Canada, recent recommendations peg the weekly limit at 2 drinks all-in. This is basically in line with arguments made by many healthcare professionals and experts that there’s not really any safe lower limit for drinking, and that the only way to minimize any of the risks associated with it is total abstinence.
As you can see, drinking alcohol every day, or even only over-indulging when the weekend arrives, is really not sensible.
Your physical and mental health will suffer both in the short term and the long run, so rigorous moderation or even a tee-total approach is the only way to sidestep all of the issues mentioned earlier.