On one hand, we know that alcohol has its place in our society, and even within a healthy lifestyle. On the other hand, too much alcohol can quickly become a problem, especially when it comes to addiction or DUI driving. That’s why we may all be a little desensitized at the ongoing struggle between the health benefits of alcohol and the destruction that can follow when a person loses their ability to drink responsibly. Because alcohol is bad for us, but wine is good for the heart. Beer is bad for the brain, but beer is good for the liver?
Realistically, nothing is healthy and everything is healthy all at the same time, beer and wine included. The answer here is to only drink your choice of alcoholic beverage in moderation, and never risk DUI driving on your way home.
The National Institute for Health (NIH) follows these guidelines for healthy drinking:
- Men: No more than 4 drinks on any day or 14 per week.
- Women: No more than 3 drinks on any day or 7 per week.
A standard drink serving is broken down into:
- Liquor or distilled spirits: 1.5 oz.
- Wine: 5 oz.
- Beer: 12 oz.
So, while a beer or two may actually help prevent liver damage because of the hops in the brew, by the time you’ve consumed an entire six-pack, the odds are you’re back to damaging your liver with just the alcohol content alone.
The biggest problem with beer, wine or liquor is that by the time you’re at that magic line for healthy drinking, you may be too impaired to decline another round at the bar. Alcohol’s effect on judgment is rarely considered healthy and is the problem that can inevitably lead to a DUI driving problem, car breathalyzer (ignition interlock) requirement or a more tragic outcome.
Yes, some alcohol can be healthy, but that’s no reason to overdo your serving size or limits for healthy drinking. Your liver may not even need the extra benefits from beer, nor would your heart necessarily wish for wine if your diet is already healthy. Nor would you have to worry about how you’ll get home safely.