People drinking alcohol have various reasons as to why they do so. While some take it just for leisure, others for medical reasons and some just as stress reliever. Whatever the reason the major concern is how much alcohol per day is good for health.
Alcohol Effects on the Body
When taken, alcohol is absorbed directly into the bloodstream and therefore has direct effect on every part of your body.
It causes physical as well as emotional changes that can lead to harm in your body, including deaths.
Excessive alcohol consumption is associated with both long-term and short-term effects and it is advisable that you take extra care while drinking.
Conditions related to too much alcohol include but not limited to:
- Complications in circulatory system
- Liver cirrhosis
- Damaged nervous system
- Erectile dysfunction
- High blood pressure
- Low birth weight
- Muscle cramps and
- Weak immune system
Drinking too much alcohol on the side of women may lead to infertility as a result of disrupted menstrual cycle.
According to Centers for Disease Control 2017 data on Alcohol and Public Health, women who take alcohol while pregnant are more likely to have babies with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASDs), especially Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS), a condition responsible for mental retardation.
According to data released by World Health Organization in 2015, alcohol abuse;
- Causes annual death of about 3.3 million people, representing about 5.9% of all deaths worldwide
- Is a causal factor of more than 200 diseases and injuries.
- Contributes to around 25% of deaths of young people aged between 29-39 years old.
Daily alcohol consumption effects vary from one person to another and have far reaching impacts both to an individual and wider community.
Effects of Alcohol on the Body
Apart from causing health related issues, it is also an economic burden to the society. As an alcoholic, you spend most of your money on alcoholic drinks instead of directing it to some useful uses in the family.
Drinking too much alcohol makes you become less reproductive because most of the time will be spent drinking. Should you develop alcohol related complications, a lot of finances and resources will be used towards your treatment thus depriving the family of its income and time.
Recommended Alcohol Intake Per Day
One unit of alcohol equals to 10 ml by volume (8 gram by weight). This is equal to;
- half a pint of beer
- 25 ml of spirits
- 50 ml of wine
Some people struggle with the question, “how much alcohol should I take per week?”
It is difficult to address this question but generally, it is recommended that you do not regularly take more than 14 units of alcohol per week.
It is better if you spread this unit throughout the week in case you drink regularly and have at least two alcohol free days. This applies to both men and women
For pregnant women who cannot resist the urge to drink, the maximum level should be about 1-2 units a week and you should never get drunk.
Even though this seems to be standard guideline, different countries have different guidelines, and this has led to confusions and risk of misunderstanding among those who drink, law enforcers and health organizations.
According to CDC data on Alcohol and Public Health updated in 2017, a standard drink in United States is pegged at 14.0 grams (0.6 ounces) of alcohol per day.
In UK, it is pegged at 16 grams while World Health Organization recommends it at 10 grams.
Whatever the standard, it is good to know that alcohol abuse has adverse effects in our bodies and it is therefore advisable to go as per the given standards in order to live a healthy life.
You should be in control of what you consume and know the best time to drink. This is also called “low risk drinking practice”. We need to be responsible and set limits on quantity and frequency in which to take alcohol.
If you are under medication, pregnant or planning to get pregnant, you should avoid alcohol at all cost.
This also applies to when you are planning to drive as there is possibility of accident occurring when drunk driving. Be in control and never let alcohol rule you.