Most of us like to have a drink now and again. Whether it is that slightly warm and relaxing feeling that settles in after a drink or two or the taste of the spirits themselves, alcoholic beverages remain a highly popular addition to many people’s evenings. Most of us have long heard the warnings about remembering to only drink in moderation. It remains good advice. Too much alcohol will dramatically hurt your body over time. The fun part here is that if you stay under the “too much” bar you can indulge fairly regularly. Drinking in moderation can even have health benefits in some cases. That makes it both a good for the body and for the soul. Let’s take a quick look at both how you can be sure you’re drinking in moderation and some of the benefits you can potentially get from a healthy habit.

Stress Management
A big potential benefit to drinking in moderation is being able to manage the stresses in your life a little better. As a central nervous system depressant, alcohol tends to calm one’s nerves to a degree and helps to loosen tension. That’s also why you shouldn’t drink when you’re depressed as it will just make things worse. For most of us though, a glass or two is a good way to unwind. This is especially true if you’re drinking lightly with your friends and colleagues. It gives you a chance to bond and enjoy one another’s company. Humans are social creatures and not getting enough interaction with others can have a profoundly negative impact on our overall mental health. It might be time to start considering taking up some of your friends for an after work drink now and again. Keeping your stress low is one of the keys to a long and healthy life, after all.

Heart Health
Managing stress can contribute to greater cardiovascular health all on its own, but it turns out the right drink has a nice impact too. It turns out that alcohol in moderation appears to actually provide a buffering effect against cardiovascular disease. Studies indicate that people who regularly drink in moderation has a statistically better chance of avoiding heart attacks and heart failure than teetotalers and a much better chance than those who abuse alcoholic beverages. It doesn’t appear to actually matter what kind of drink you have either, but some studies indicate that red wine may be slightly more effective than other options. Experts aren’t entirely certain on why this effect exists, but some theories believe that imbibing alcohol, a poison, regularly may keep parts of the immune and filtration systems of your body working just a little bit more effectively. It also helps that alcohol thins your blood.

Maintaining Moderation
Actually defining moderation is a difficult task as people have varying definitions. If you want to be specific, the actual drinking that qualifies depends on sex, body weight, age, and a lot of other factors. No two people can actually handle alcohol in the exact same way. That’s not a very useful answer though. However, The Center for Disease Control lists drinking in moderation as being roughly 1 drink a day for an average woman and roughly 2 drinks for the average man. Staying within those bounds is all it really takes to drink in moderation. Yes, we all occasionally have a little more than that and also go through periods where we don’t drink any alcohol beverages at all. Habitually drinking over the amount considered moderate is how you endanger your health. So try to either stick to the listed limit or within one drink of it most of the time to avoid hurting your health.

Drinking in moderation can actually be a good thing for your health. You need to make sure you know what counts as a “drink” for a given spirit to keep an adequate count though. Most women should only have a glass of alcohol a day and men shouldn’t have more than two if they’re serious about watching their health. Learning to strike that balance between what is healthy for you and how much you’re inclined to indulge will help you live a longer life.

 

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