Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Moderation: Are You Drinking Too Much and Don't Know Why?

Once again I have a guest blogger. I was intrigued by the topic. Since I rarely imbibe alcoholic beverages I knew I would never write an article on the subject. None the less, I thought it might have some useful advice, especially with the holidays approaching. Please enjoy and share this blog written by Derek Whitney.

Alcoholic beverages have played a vital role in society throughout all of history. Interestingly, wine was once safer than water to drink and was given to everyone from infants and adults to provide a healthy dose of nutrition. Doctors in the past have also prescribed beer and wine for health issues ranging from anxiety to tuberculosis. While alcohol does have some healthy properties, we now know that not everyone should be drinking. Additionally, it is now recommended that a person should drink in moderation if they want to avoid unhealthy consequences. Yet, how do you know if you are drinking too much? Here are some general guidelines as to what constitutes healthy drinking along with some of the reasons why you may over-imbibe.

Pay Attention to Alcohol Content
Novice drinkers often discover a tasty beverage of which they just cannot get enough. Whether you have a signature drink or you are trying out a new one, you should always be aware of the alcohol content. As a general rule, hard liquors and wine have more alcohol than beer. For example, wine can come in as high as 15% alcohol while many beers barely exceed 4%. If you are consuming a mixed drink, then you should also take into consideration the alcohol content of each of the ingredients, then adjust your drinking accordingly.

Watch Your Portions
There is a reason why wine tasters only pour a small amount and spit out the majority of their sample. It just makes sense that the larger your portion is then the more you will drink. Using the correct glass for your alcoholic beverage is one way to manage your portions. Standard portion sizes, such as 12-ounces for beer and five-ounces for wine should always be used. For hard liquors, use a standard shot glass to measure your pour.

Eat a Full Meal when Drinking
When you have an empty stomach, alcohol will be absorbed quicker leading you to become inebriated with less alcohol than you may normally consume. Try to eat a full meal before an evening in which you anticipate drinking, or you can simply sip your glass of wine with dinner. If it has been a while since your last meal, having a handful of nuts or pretzels can also be a way to put food in your stomach to absorb some of the alcohol.

Know the Role of Gender
If there is one form of gender inequality that cannot be fixed, it is that women tend to get drunk faster than men. Research has proven this to be caused by women having less water in their body and bloodstream than men. With less water, a woman’s body is slightly less capable of diluting the alcohol. Body height and weight can also affect the amount of alcohol that goes through the bloodstream. Generally, people with a smaller stature will need to pay extra close attention to how much alcohol they consume.

Notice Your Environment
Fast-paced and loud music has been used in shopping centers for years to encourage people to spend more money. It turns out that this same effect can also cause people to drink faster. During a recent study, it was found that men who were exposed to loud music drank their beers an average of three minutes faster than those in a calm environment. Cold or hot temperatures, social situations and being alone are other environmental triggers that could cause you to drink too much.

Knowing the reasons why you may over-drink can help you to enjoy your alcoholic beverages in moderation. Although having a drink or two is a normal social activity, it is important to be aware of when it begins to be too much. Now that you are aware of the factors that play a role in your body’s ability to process alcohol, you can begin to implement a plan that will keep your drinking within moderate limits.

Derek Whitney is blogging for Aligned Signs, an astrology match making site that helps connect like minded people while getting to know yourself better. When he is not blogging, he enjoys relaxing with his girlfriend

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