What Is The Least Harmful Alcohol To Drink – Excessive alcohol consumption is a contributing factor to more than 200 disease and injury conditions, including alcohol use disorder, cirrhosis of the liver, cancer, and physical injury.
The World Health Organization estimates that more than 3 million deaths, or 6% of all deaths worldwide, can be attributed to alcohol.
What Is The Least Harmful Alcohol To Drink
No amount of alcohol consumption is safe or without risk. The US government, however, sets and recommends levels of alcohol consumption that have generally been found to pose only a low to moderate risk to the general population. It is never recommended that people who do not drink alcohol start drinking alcohol based on these instructions. Women should be aware that even moderate alcohol consumption can increase the risk of breast cancer.
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The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) previously had different guidelines than the US Department of Health and Human Services, but has since adopted the same definitions of “moderate drinking” or “low-risk drinking.” According to the US Department of Health and Human Services’ Dietary Guidelines, the daily limit for women and men is 1 and 2, respectively. Dietary guidelines generally address other aspects of alcohol-related harm, including toxicity, which is known to cause cancer.
In general, people are advised to alternate drinking days with non-drinking days in order to give their bodies a break from processing alcohol.
In the NIAAA guideline on drinking levels for women, heavy alcohol use is defined as drinking 3 or more drinks on any day and more than 7 drinks per week. For men, heavy drinking is defined as drinking 4 or more drinks on any day and more than 14 drinks per week.
Previous NIAAA research found that, on average, only 2 in 100 people who drink below these limits within the “moderate drinking” guidelines will develop an alcohol use disorder.
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The US Dietary Guidelines for American Adults recommend that if alcohol is consumed, it should be consumed only in moderation – up to 1 drink per day for women and 2 drinks per day for men. This is not intended as an average over many days, but rather the amount consumed on any single day.
There are certain circumstances in which American adults are advised to avoid alcohol altogether. It is strongly recommended that under no circumstances should anyone under the legal drinking age of 21 consume alcohol in any quantity. Whether you’re spending time with friends or trying to unwind after a long day, many of us enjoy a cocktail or cracking a cold beer occasionally.
While drinking alcohol in moderation is unlikely to be harmful, drinking too much can have significant negative health effects.
But how exactly does alcohol affect your body? How much alcohol is too much? And are there ways to drink safely? Keep reading as we explore the answers to these questions and more below.
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When we drink alcohol, its first destination is the stomach. This is where alcohol begins to be absorbed into your bloodstream.
If you don’t have food in your stomach, alcohol will likely pass through your small intestine rather quickly. The small intestine has a much larger surface area for absorption than your stomach, meaning alcohol will enter your bloodstream more quickly.
If you have eaten, your stomach will focus on digesting the food. Therefore, the alcohol will leave your stomach more slowly.
Once in the bloodstream, alcohol can move to other organs in the body, including the liver. The liver is responsible for breaking down most of the alcohol you consume.
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Your body’s cells further break down the acetic acid into carbon dioxide and water. These compounds can easily be eliminated from your body through processes such as urination and breathing.
So what exactly gives us that sick, drunk feeling? Your liver can only metabolize so much alcohol at a time, which means the alcohol can travel through the bloodstream to other organs, such as the brain.
Alcohol is a depressant of your central nervous system (CNS). This means it has a slowing effect on your brain.
Because of this, neurons in your brain fire nerve impulses more slowly. This can lead to things like impaired judgment or coordination associated with intoxication.
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Alcohol can also stimulate the release of neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine. These neurotransmitters are associated with pleasure and reward and can lead to feelings such as happiness or relaxation.
These feelings are combined with additional physical symptoms of intoxication, such as flushing, sweating, and increased urination.
A hangover occurs after drinking too much alcohol. Symptoms can be unpleasant and can vary from person to person. Here’s what causes a hangover:
Blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is the percentage of alcohol in a person’s bloodstream. As you consume more alcohol, more and more of it enters your bloodstream.
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The United States has set a “legal limit” for BAC. If you are found to be over the legal limit, you are subject to legal penalties, such as a DUI arrest or conviction.
In the United States, the legal BAC limit is 0.08 percent. The legal limit for commercial vehicle drivers is even lower – 0.04 percent.
Is there a way to tell your level of intoxication? The only way BAC levels can be measured is by using a breathalyzer or blood alcohol test.
The diagrams below may be useful for reference. They show weight, legal limits and drunkenness levels for men and women.
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Remember that alcohol levels can vary depending on the specific drink. For example, according to these guidelines, 12 ounces of an 8 percent beer is technically more than one drink. Likewise, a mixed drink like a margarita likely contains more than one drink as well.
Defines moderate alcohol consumption as up to 1 drink per day for women and 2 drinks per day for men.
Moderate alcohol consumption is defined as up to 1 drink per day for women and 2 drinks per day for men.
While drinking in moderation is unlikely to be harmful for most people, excessive or chronic drinking can become dangerous. When does drinking become a concern?
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You should see a doctor if you think you or a loved one may be abusing alcohol. Look out for these signs:
If you identify with any of these signs, talk to a doctor. They can work closely with you to develop a strategy to help you stop drinking.
If you notice these signs in a friend or loved one, don’t be afraid to reach out and express your concerns. Organizing an intervention can help them realize they need help with their drinking.
Drinking alcohol in moderation is unlikely to have any negative effects on your health. However, alcohol abuse can have a variety of harmful effects.
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If you choose to drink, it’s important to do so safely. This can be achieved by slowing down your intake, staying hydrated and don’t drink more than you can handle.
If you think you or a loved one is abusing alcohol, be sure to talk to a doctor. There are also other ways to get help, such as the SAMHSA National Helpline (800-662-4357) and
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Our experts are constantly monitoring the health and wellness space and we update our articles when new information becomes available. Drinking too much alcohol can harm your health. Excessive alcohol use led to more than 140,000 deaths and 3.6 million years of potential life lost (YPLL) each year in the United States from 2015 to 2019, shortening the lives of those who died by an average of 26 years.
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The economic cost of binge drinking in 2010 was estimated at $249 billion, or $2.05 per drink.
In the United States, a standard drink contains 0.6 ounces (14.0 grams or 1.2 tablespoons) of pure alcohol. Generally, this amount of pure alcohol is found in
Binge drinking includes binge drinking, binge drinking and any alcohol consumption by pregnant women or people under the age of 21.
Recommends that adults of legal drinking age can choose not to drink or drink in moderation by limiting intake to 2 drinks or less per day for men or 1 drink or less per day for women on days when alcohol is consumed.
Carbs In Alcohol (carb Charts)
We also do not recommend that non-drinkers start drinking for any reason, and that if adults of legal drinking age choose to drink alcoholic beverages, drinking less is better for health than drinking more.
Excessive alcohol use has immediate effects that increase the risk of many harmful health conditions. These are usually the result of drinking too much alcohol and include the following:
Over time, excessive alcohol use can lead to the development of chronic diseases and other serious problems, such as:
Source: Division of Population Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
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