So you’ve had a busy day or week, and you’re finally home and able to kick those heels off and relax. For many, this means enjoying a glass of wine or another favorite libation. Or maybe your personal reward is brunch with gal pals or happy hour with friends – hey, why not? After all, you deserve to wind down and indulge a bit. While we agree with this sentiment, it’s important to be sure we’re keeping our drinking habits in check. We live in a culture where social alcohol consumption is acceptable, and even celebrated, in most situations. But an educated woman knows her healthy limits.
The official recommendation is women should limit their alcohol intake to seven drinks or less per week. It’s also important to know that alcohol affects women faster and more intensely than men. As women are typically smaller than men, we have less body water, which leads to higher blood-alcohol levels. Though we can certainly keep up with the boys in our careers, accomplishments, education and so much more, when it comes to drinking, we just aren’t physically cut out for that sort of “competition”. Here’s how limiting our alcohol consumption to the recommended standards (seven drinks or less per week) can be beneficial:
- Breast Health: The risk of breast cancer increases 10% for women who consume 1 drink per day (and increases further for those who drink more)
- Liver Health: Women require less alcohol than men to develop liver inflammation that can lead to liver damage
- Heart Health: Heavy drinking harms the heart muscle – stick to the recommended one glass of red wine for a healthy heart
- Alcohol Abuse: The risk of developing alcohol dependency in women is greater than in men. Men are limited to 14 drinks per week (or 4 on any given day), while women are limited to 7 drinks per week (or 3 on any given day)
So, ladies, enjoy those cocktails; relax with a glass of wine; sip that mimosa at brunch, but remember: everything in moderation. We’re your support team, and Dr. Brady can address any concerns you may have regarding your drinking habits. Cheers to smarter sipping and a healthy you!