Although excessive drinking can lead to health problems like liver disease, alcohol on its own is not necessarily unhealthy. Alcoholic beverages can be healthy in moderation and are often a feature of social gatherings, so enjoying a drink now and then isn’t going to be harmful as long as you drink responsibly and within specified limits. Alcohol’s effects vary between people based on body composition, genetics, metabolism, and other factors. Learning a few facts about drinking safely is in order.
It takes an average adult body an hour to metabolize a standard drink. One standard drink is equivalent to 12 ounces of beer, 8 ounces of malt liquor, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of harder spirits. To avoid developing long-term health problems, it’s best to avoid drinking more than 14 units of alcohol per week.
Food and Drink
Never drink alcohol on an empty stomach. Digesting food slows the absorption of alcohol into the bloodstream and lessens the effort required by your liver. Some snacks to try eating to get plenty of nutrients before a night on the town include hummus with raw vegetables, yogurt with granola, or whole-grain pasta with meatballs. These snacks and meals provide an even balance of carbohydrates, fats and proteins. Eating between drinks is also a good idea.
Never Drink and Drive
Getting behind the wheel of a car when drunk can put you and others at risk because of impaired judgment, perception, and reactions. Legal intoxication in many jurisdictions is 0.08% blood-alcohol content, and exceeding this carries a strong penalty. For example, in the state of Georgia, a DUI offense can lead to punishments including up to a year in prison, a $1,000 fine and/or a five-year suspension of driving privileges. You can find an Atlanta law firm that helps with your third DUI, but best practices are to avoid the first one instead.
The only way to get rid of alcohol is to wait for it to metabolize. Taking a shower, drinking caffeine, or eating spicy foods do not dampen the effects of drinks already in your system. In fact, caffeine can make alcohol more dangerous; both substances cause dehydration and send conflicting signals to the brain. The caffeine can trick you into thinking you haven’t had enough alcohol. The best way to know if you are sober enough to drive is to use a personal breathalyzer.
If you are new to drinking, have a trusted friend or relative watch you and monitor your behavior. It’s easier to know your limits on alcohol when someone is observing. Avoid going past your limit and pace yourself to prevent problems from drinking alcohol.