It would not be right to paint a picture of alcohol as a life-ruining substance for everybody. Most people who enjoy alcohol do so in moderation. Many will go weeks without a drink, even when out with friends. It can be a great way to increase levels of fun and relaxation.
However, are people underestimating the damage that alcohol can do? In general, yes. You may have heard before that alcohol is more damaging to your health and more addictive than a number of illegal substances. Still, as long as you are sensible in how you go about it, alcohol can be consumed without sacrificing a healthy lifestyle.
Confusion about health and habit
Many people will jump to the conclusion that they are not drinking too much unless they have a full-blown addiction. Only then does the real damage begin, the thinking seems to go.
However, the fact is if things have really gotten so far that you need to seek an addiction counselor then you will have already done quite a number on your health. So do not go assuming that your drinking habits are fine just because you are not suffering from withdrawal when you do not drink for a couple of days. If you are drinking booze a few nights a week, then you are probably already drinking too much.
If you are not waking up every morning with a horrendous hangover, this does not mean that alcohol is not doing damage to your system.
Most people already walk around in states of fatigue (due to a lack of sleep) and dehydration (because most people do not drink enough water). Alcohol increases your need for both things, so for most people (who aren’t paying enough attention to sleep and water as it is!), alcohol simply exacerbates things. Over time, it can lead to weight gain, long-term loss of concentration, and depression, as well as becoming a major contributor to kidney problems and cancer.
Getting the right balance
So wait – it sounds like we should be keeping clear of alcohol completely, right? Well, there is no denying that cutting out alcohol completely is the healthiest option. However, it seems that enjoying a night of boozing maybe two or three times a month does not cause that much damage to you in the long-term.
Of course, it depends what we mean by “boozing”. If you are drinking enough that you start to lose self-control or forget things completely the next day, then you are basically dropping two or three bombs on your biological system every month. However much you are drinking, making sure you get enough sleep and exercise in everyday life is vital to maintaining a good balance.
Considering your own body
You have probably heard talk about the amount of units of alcohol the average person should avoid exceeding in a day. Nevertheless, the fact is that everyone’s body is different. You need to account for age, weight, muscle amount, and even sex. You can use a self-assessment in order to gauge how much alcohol will affect your body.
At the end of the day, whatever the result, you should always think carefully about your body when you are consuming alcohol. Drink plenty of water throughout, and remember that alcoholic drinks contain calories that you need to watch out for, too!