Yasss Queens! This post is talking to my fellow ladies who love their libations. Research proves red wine contains some powerful antioxidants, such as resveratrol, which may benefit your health. However, how much of a good thing is too much? Are you a wine lover or binge-drinker? Do you know the difference?
Binge-drinking among women is not isolated to college-age. Trends are showing women in their late 20s, 30s, 40s, and even 50s appear to continue the habit for various reasons. The biggest reason being STRESS. You may wonder, "what's wrong with a drink after a long day and to blow off some steam?" Well..nothing wrong at all if you can have just one! For many, the first drink lends to easily having at least one or two more.
The definition of binge-drinking is having more than 4 drinks in a single setting for women, and 5 drinks for men. New recommendations suggest men and women should drink no more than 14 alcohol units a week. This means 6 beer pints or 7 glasses of wine spread out over the week.
If you find yourself drinking more than a glass (5oz, which equals 2 alcohol units) of wine a day, you could be at risk for serious health conditions including fatty liver, high blood pressure, heart disease, pancreatitis, and possibly cancer down the line. Not to mention, high alcohol consumption ages you faster!
Now, I know this article won't suddenly make many of you ditch your beloved bottle, but maybe, it can create an internal dialogue on the ways you provide self-care. There are many other alternatives to drinking. Personally, I average 2-3 drinks a month despite my high levels of stress. That's not a brag, but rather, a testimony. I used to drink way more, but it didn't take long for the adverse effects to stray me for the better. I hate the way alcohol makes me wake up at night and I'm unable to sleep well. I also hate awaking with a headache, dry mouth and nausea. Oh, and the bloat...Lord...the bloating and water retention are awful! Perhaps I'm a light-weight and wuss, but we'll see who looks and feels better than who at age 50 without the aid of surgery or botox. I bet you, I'll win! :-)
To cope, I implore a few of these alternatives:
Exercise: I do daily strolls with my crazy pup Lucien. Other options are yoga, pilates, weight-training, running/jogging, and any other exercise you prefer. 20-30 minutes of exercise can release endorphins, foster deep breathing, and help with relaxation.
Talk it out: I have a list of friends and family on speed dial and text groups that I vent to regularly. Allowing thoughts and frustrations to fester only makes a situation worse. Lean into your community, not the bottle, for love, understanding and compassion. It's amazing how therapeutic it feels to be heard.
Sleep: I have to get at least 8 hours of sleep to feel my best and better handle stress. When you're sleep deprived, everything just feels more overwhelming. Sleep repairs our brains, resets our bodies, and offers a level of resiliency that we otherwise would miss.
Healthy Eating: During the, especially on week days, I try to eat as cleanly as I can to give my body good fuel and support. A healthy diet will also minimize alcohol cravings. Did you know alcohol actually makes us consume MORE calories in one setting and we're more likely to choose unhealthy food options?! However, healthy eating will provide extra vitamins and nutrients to help your brain produce those feel-good hormones.
Then there is the other side of the problem: how do we reverse the bad effects of alcohol?
Tips to reverse the effects of alcohol:
Quit binge-drinking! Seriously, you're not doing yourself any favors. If you have a problem with alcohol, don't wait for rock bottom. Get help now! Please feel free to contact me or look up rehab and support groups in your local area for additional support.
N-acetyl cysteine (NAC): a powerful antioxidant with the ability to help repair damage to our liver. Taking 600mg daily can reverse fatty liver and help detoxify your body.
Hydration: Water is so crucial! Drink at least 64oz (8 cups) daily for good hydration, but for optimal, aim for at least half your weight in ounces daily. **Caution on increasing water intake for those with certain health conditions such as congestive heart failure or kidney disease.
Nutrient Support: getting your daily recommended amounts of B-vitamins and trace minerals helps your body create more antioxidants and repair itself from daily stressors. If you don't already, incorporate a great food-based multivitamin. I love the multivitamins produced by Innate Response, Garden of Life, Restorative Formulations and Metagenics. Please contact me if you'd like specific recommendations. I'm happy to help!