Posts tagged ‘alcohol consumption’

October 8, 2018

New Studies on the Health Benefits of Alcohol are Making Me Want a Drink

Two new studies indicate that alcohol consumption may not have as many (or any) health benefits as research previously indicated; these studies are making me want a drink! Try to figure out the health benefits or harm of consuming coffee, fat, carbohydrates, chocolate, or even bananas can be confusing at best. Now that they’re messing with happy hour, I think I’ll mull over the evidence drink in hand.

I’m not here to defend alcohol consumption. Alcohol has had devastating effects in my family. My grandfather drunkenly stumbled on the concrete front steps of his house, fell, hit his head, and eventually died from his injuries. The psychological effects of his drinking left my dad angry and violent. I understand on a visceral level that the detrimental effects of alcohol may not be quantifiable without including their contribution to psychological and physical trauma within families.

I’m not here to rail against alcohol consumption either. I know there are many people who have a drink occasionally or regularly and that’s it. They don’t overdo, drink and drive, or engage in other high-risk behaviors. Some of these people are genetically predisposed to alcoholism and yet they never develop the disease.

barrelsLike other dietary decisions, drinking alcohol is a lifestyle choice fraught with religious prohibitions, social implications, and conflicting evidence regarding health benefits. The path to making the best choice in such a situation is to have clear intentions, be informed, tell yourself the truth, own your choice, and give yourself permission to change your mind.

The older I get, the less it suffices to wait for someday to fully enjoy life. It is increasingly important to me to have a few moments each day that are pure pleasure. These moments don’t have to be big or monumental, but I intend to lean into them.

Last weekend, one of those moments was tasting a delicious coffee liqueur at the end of an impromptu distillery tour with friends. If I made a blanket prohibition against consuming alcohol, I would have missed that moment.

I chose to embrace it knowing there was no health benefit, but also knowing that I do not suffer from alcoholism. I am happy with that choice. If in a month I find myself spiking my coffee or milk with liqueur every morning, it may be deliciously pleasurable, but it will also be time to reconsider my choice.

There are so many pieces of life over which we have no control that we can feel quite powerless at times. It is easy to get lost in that feeling. Making deliberate choices to improve the quality of life in small, consistent ways can greatly increase a feeling of purpose and well-being which in turn can improve our health.

Each of us will have a unique path to wholeness, happiness, and health. Each of us will find obstacles on that path, naysayers who discourage us, cheerleaders who encourage us, and examples that inspire us. We will find pleasure and comfort in different ways.

I cannot say what the journey should look like for you. I do know that intention and practice can propel each of us toward becoming our best selves while enjoying life fully. Sometimes for me, that means watching the sunset while sipping a Hendrick’s and soda garnished with a cucumber.

Here’s to you loving the path you’re on!

https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(18)31310-2/fulltext

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/15300277

https://www.cosmopolitan.com/uk/body/news/a45281/bananas-bad-breakfast/

https://zenhabits.net/wholeness/


Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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