How Much Wine Is Too Much Wine?
Drinking alcohol has become a socially acceptable way to wind down after a long week, and wine in particular has become very fashionable. Unfortunately, millions of Americans are drinking too much wine, in many cases way too much.
Some studies indicate that drinking a small amount of wine, especially red wine, has health benefits, although they are controversial. According to Medical News Today, small amounts of red wine can:
- Protect the body from cancers
- Help people live longer
- Reduce the risks of cardiovascular disease
- Extend mortality
- Improve mental health
- Reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes
- Can reduce a woman’s risk for breast cancer
- Provides “feel good” endorphins, such as dopamine and serotonin
Red wines do contain a chemical called resveratrol, known for its ability to protect the body from bacteria and ultraviolet radiation. Aside this chemical component, red wine contains antioxidants which may contribute to one’s overall health.
What Are Healthy Amounts of Wine To Drink?
Men and women have different wine drinking limits, as both genders are affected by alcohol differently. Women are more likely to get tipsy or intoxicated faster than men, as their body has higher amounts of water. Less alcohol is metabolized in their body, going into their bloodstream, creating a sensitivity to alcohol. Experts say a a good maximum amount of wine for women would be a 5 oz glass of wine, and for men two 5 oz glasses of wine, no more than several times a week.
Experts strongly advise women against having more than 3 drinks of wine per day, and for men, 4 drinks of wine per day. People may be tempted to drink more wine as a serving of wine, which averages 12.5% alcohol, has lower amounts of alcohol compared to hard liquor, however, drinking greater volumes of wine negates this difference.
Exercising moderation in drinking wine can help individuals avoid the risk of binge drinking. Binge drinking consists of over-drinking alcohol in a specific timeframe. For example:
- Men who drink 5 or more drinks in a 2-hour time frame and
- Women who drink 4 or more drinks in a 2-hour time frame
The Consequences Of Drinking Too Much Wine
Drinking too much wine has many consequences. Individuals may begin to use wine as a crutch and continue drinking larger and larger amounts of alcohol, which can eventually cause dependence and even alcoholism. Drinking too much wine can have short side effects such as:
- High blood pressure
Individuals who drink too much wine are also susceptible to long-term risks like:
- Delirium Tremens (auditory and visual hallucinations)
- Brain damage
Who I at Risk for Drinking Too Much Wine?
Anyone can take an interest in wine at any stage of their life. Individuals who regularly consume alcoholic beverages like beer and spirits can easily drink too much wine. According to The Washington Post, individuals most likely to drink too much wine are:
- Alcohol enthusiasts
- Overwhelmed stay-at-home moms
- Older white women
Due to wine manufacturers and advertisers targeting the overwhelmed and possibly anxiety-stricken, stay-at-home moms, or movies depicting young women drinking large amounts of wine, wine sales have increased. Women and men with disorders like depression, bipolar disorder and anxiety can find themselves drinking too much wine as a means of self-medication. Individuals with a history of drinking need to exercise self-control if choosing to drink wine.
If you do choose to drink wine, knowing and not exceeding your limit is the key to achieving balance and wellness.
MayoClinic.com. (2017). Alcohol: If You Drink, Keep It Moderate. Retrieved on June 6, 2018 at https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/alcohol/art-20044551
WineFolly.com. (2017). Wine and Moderation: What’s Healthy? Retrieved on June 6, 2018 at https://winefolly.com/update/wine-and-moderation-whats-healthy/
Brazier, Yvette. (2017). Is Red Wine Good For You? Retrieved on June 6, 2018 at https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/265635.php
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