Government guidelines suggest the recommended safe levels of alcohol are 2 – 3 units a day for women and 3 – 4 units a day for men. This translates to 1 can of lager for women (classy) and 1 pint for men, or standard 175ml glass of wine and large 250ml wine glass, respectively.
However, walk around any city after 5pm, or anywhere on the weekend, and I bet that you will see people enjoying more than the suggested amount.
Are they slowly killing themselves?
I am sure you enjoy a glass of wine or a pint to unwind after a hard day?
Are you doing yourself more harm than good? Let’s see what the facts say.
There are plenty of good effects of alcohol consumption. Most of the healthiest populations in the world enjoy a regular drink.
According to an old study done in 1985 (I have a picture from that year when I try to reach for champagne bottle; I was one. True story)
(1) Alcohol in moderate amounts is effective in reducing stress. This has been found in both physiologic and self-report measures. (2) Low and moderate doses of alcohol have been reported to increase overall affective expression, happiness, euphoria, conviviality and pleasant and carefree feelings. Tension, depression and self-consciousness have been reported to decrease with equal doses. (3) Low alcohol doses have been found to improve certain types of cognitive performance. Included here are problem-solving and short-term memory.
There is a link between lower mortality rates for people having 2-4 drinks per week.
Also, there is no negative effect on building muscles and looking good with moderate alcohol consumption.
And as every good dancer knows, alcohol calories are burned first, which might explain why notorious wedding crashers don’t put on weight.
You probably noticed a key word in all this; low-to-moderate consumption.
The Bad and The Ugly
You may not store alcohol as fat, but it stops burning off the foods you consume with the alcohol. Plus, most choices you make after alcohol are rarely getting you towards your good-looking body goal.
You may be merry and happy after few drinks, but the more you drink the less cheerful and more aggressive you become.
There is a real risk of addiction, which can cause all sorts of ruins and, in worst-case scenarios, death. In the UK alone alcohol related deaths are at about 42 per 10,0000 people.
So what is the moderate dosage that provides good health benefits without a rude awakening in hospital?
It seems that the magical number is 0.5g of alcohol per 1kg of your body weight or 0.23g/1lb of body weight.
In the UK one unit is 8g of alcohol, so it would seem to be considered safe if you consume within 1 unit/16kg of bodyweight.
Below I have posted grams of alcohol for some standard drinks:
US & Canada
Standard drink is defined as 0.6 fluid once (14g) of pure alcohol.
Standard drink is 10g of alcohol. This is approximately a 330 mL can of beer or a 100 mL glass of table wine or a 30 mL glass of straight spirits
So to calculate your safe regular alcohol dosage you can do this simple math
Your weight in kg x 0.5
Your weight in lbs x 0.23
So, someone like me, an 80kg or 176lb guy, can drink and be merry, lean and healthy on almost two pints of beer, or just over two glasses of wine, or 5 single measures of vodka or whiskey.
It is more than the suggested government guidelines and obviously it comes down to how you can handle alcohol. If you can stay within that limit and be in the moment, have fun with your friends, colleagues and family then enjoy it.
Otherwise be careful.
Alcohol has to be handled carefully and in moderation and if you feel you may have a problem with safe alcohol consumption please click here
'Greg Mikolap, BSc in Physiotherapy, and a Personal Trainer based in Maidenhead, England. Greg is also a founder of www.PTFolder.com, training solution for people who want to get fit or for people who help others get fit. With almost 10 years experience in the industry, Greg is also a course director for Faster Health & Fitness and is working on his volleyball performance book.'