9 Benefits of Alcohol for the Body
Author: Thomas Roth
Last Updated: 6/04/2023
Major research bodies like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Library of Medicine have found that moderate alcohol consumption has benefits. In fact, people who consume moderate amounts of alcohol have better health later in life when compared to people who don’t drink at all.
Alcohol is beneficial in moderation but it’s still important to drink responsibly. Failing to drink in moderation leads to negative health effects and increases the risk of death. A moderate amount of alcohol is less than 14 drinks per week for men and less than 10 drinks per week for women.
1. Reduce Your Risk Of Cardiovascular Disease
Cardiovascular disease is when the functioning and structure of your heart become compromised and abnormalities develop. Heart disease is painful, debilitating, and even causes death. To keep things flowing correctly in the arteries to your heart and other organs, your body needs HDL (good cholesterol). However, there is also LDL (bad cholesterol). LDL blocks those arteries and causes Heart Disease and other problems in other organs such as your liver.
According to Hopkins Medicine, moderate amounts of alcohol will increase your level of HDL and help lower your LDL. The process reduces your risk of blocked arteries. This helps to improve overall heart health and reduce the risk of heart disease. Some symptoms you may notice are chest pain, nausea, shortness of breath, or even heart palpitations. If you experience any of these it could be heart disease or worse and you should seek medical attention right away.
Alcohol also helps with heart disease by preventing blood clots. According to studies from Walter Kluwer Health, alcohol reduces the risk of venous thromboembolism. Alcohol also reduces blood clots, which reduces the risks of heart attacks.
2. Make You Live Longer
A moderate amount of alcohol helps you live a longer life. According to Age and Aging in the Oxford University Press, alcohol does so by reducing the risk of deadly diseases. These diseases include heart disease, some cancers, strokes, and other life-threatening conditions. Alcohol also helps to improve overall health and leads to a longer and healthier life.
A small amount of alcohol reduces the risk of dying from heart disease by half, which is a major lifesaver. What may come as a shock is that moderate alcohol drinkers will have, on average, a longer lifespan than people who abstain from alcohol completely. In fact, moderate wine drinkers have a reduction in heart problems by up to 18%.
3. Increase Libido
Studies have shown that a moderate amount of alcohol can reduce the chances of erectile dysfunction and delayed ejaculation in men. It also can create a minor numbness in both male and female genitals allowing sex to last longer than normal. For both men and women drinking moderate amounts of alcohol causes your central nervous system to release hormones that make sexual activity more pleasurable as well. These benefits are only for moderate drinks, as you drink more the benefits go away and many risks develop.
Another benefit of drinking alcohol is that it helps with the mental problems people experience when having sex. Men who struggle with performance anxiety or other mental conditions have an easier time performing when drinking alcohol. Alcohol is effective here because it builds confidence in moderation.
4. Help Prevent Common Cold
Many studies have been done to show how alcohol may interact with various infections and diseases. Some of those studies are on the common cold and according to the CDC, alcohol may help with the common cold. Studies show that drinking up to about two drinks at most per day helps reduce the chances of getting the common cold.
The studies did not show that these results were only in non-smokers. Smoking increased the chances of getting the common cold as opposed to reducing them. People who already have a cold can also have a drink like a glass of brandy, rum, or whiskey to help alleviate the symptoms and feel better faster.
5. Lessen the Risk of Dementia Developing.
There was a study published in The BMJ that looked at over 9,000 people aged 35 to 55 over 23 years. At the end of the study, they looked at how much alcohol each person drank on average per week and their rates of dementia. For those who drank 14 or fewer drinks per week, or no more than 2 drinks per day, their rates of dementia did not increase and even decreased slightly.
In other people who drank 15 drinks or more per week the rate of dementia was much higher. There was a 17% increased risk of developing dementia by adding 1 drink per week. By moderating drinking alcohol at a rate of two drinks or less per day, or 14 or fewer per week, you can reduce the risk of developing dementia later on in life.
6. Lower The Chance Of Gallstones Disease
Studies done in the National Library of Medicine show that a moderate amount of alcohol reduces the chances of getting gallstones or developing gallstone disease. While these studies show the decreased risk, they are unable to determine an exact reason officially.
The main theory is that alcohol causes the gallbladder to empty at a faster rate. Therefore, bile isn’t sitting in the gallbladder long enough. Faster emptying of the gallbladder reduces the chances of the bile developing into stones. When you experience any sort of sharp pain in your right side, fever, or pain between your shoulder blades it may be Gallstones and you will want to seek medical attention for it.
7. Reduces the Risk of Diabetes
Recent studies within the last five years have shown that moderately drinking alcohol reduces the chances of developing diabetes. More specifically, in women, there is a 32% less chance and in men, there is a 27% less chance of getting diabetes.
In these studies, the American Diabetes Association also found that wine was the most beneficial drink for reducing the risk of diabetes. However, studies also conclude that people who already have diabetes should not mix alcohol with diabetes medication such as insulin. Alcohol and insulin cause unwanted side effects and dangers.
8. Reduce the Risk of Ischemic Stroke
Having a stroke is not as uncommon as you may think. According to the CDC, every 40 seconds someone in the United States has a stroke. It’s easy to remember the symptoms because they spell out the word FAST.
- F: Face Dropping.
- A: Arm is weak or numb.
- S: Speech is impaired or difficult.
- T: Time to call 911.
When you drink alcohol in moderation the alcohol interacts with certain proteins in your blood and this helps to reduce the risk of strokes. In this case, alcohol is beneficial and even saves lives as strokes are the leading cause of death in the United States.
9. Enhance Your Memory and Brainpower
Drinking small amounts of alcohol has been shown to have various benefits on memory and brain power in general. One way it helps brain power is that a couple of drinks has been shown to allow you to focus more on certain things and block other things out. This allows you to do more creative thinking and get tasks done.
Studies from the Journal of Neuroscience also show that having one or two drinks per day enlarges your Hippocampus. The Hippocampus is a part of the brain that stores memories. An enlarged Hippocampus allows for greater retention of memories over a longer period.
What to Know More About the Benefits of Alcohol?
There are many reasons why people choose to drink alcohol. Drinking heavy amounts or binge drinking is not safe but if you choose to drink in moderation alcohol is less dangerous.
There are many health benefits to your sexual health, mental health, and physical health. Moderate drinking has even been shown to lengthen your life as well. It is important to note that there are negatives to even moderate drinking of alcohol and that it does come with risks. If you plan to drink alcohol for the benefits, you should also look into the risks.
What is a Moderate Drink for Girls?
Moderate drinking for women is the consumption of about one glass of wine per day. Having only one glass of wine or another type of drink per day keeps the total amount of alcohol consumption for the week at seven drinks. For women, seven drinks are what the CDC considers to be moderate drinking. Drinking moderately is different for men and women. This is due to the average size and weight of men and women being different.
What is a Moderate Drink for Men?
Drinking between one and three drinks per day is what most sources like the CDC consider a moderate drink for men. It’s important to note that “moderately drinking” can be defined differently by many people and can vary based on height and weight. In fact, even gender and hormones play a role in what moderate drinking looks like.
How many Beers Can You Have Each Day?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has numerous studies that show moderate alcohol consumption is beneficial. However, consuming small amounts of beer is essential. For moderate drinkers, when you say three drinks or four drinks per day you may not know what that means in terms of the type of alcohol you like to drink. For beer, one drink equals out to be one 12-ounce bottle of beer at 5% alcohol content. For women, that is three bottles per day and for men, that is four bottles per day at most.
How Much Wine Can You Have Each Day?
For wine, one standard drink is equivalent to one 5-ounce glass of table wine. This means a win that is equal to or less than 12% alcohol content. According to the CDC, you should only have one or two glasses of wine per day and no more than seven per week for women and 12 per week for men. So, having three to four glasses wine per day is too much wine.
How many Distilled spirits can you have each day?
Examining products like Jack Daniel’s Whiskey shows that distilled liquor has more alcohol by volume than other beverages. Therefore, it’s best to have only one shot worth of distilled spirits each day. When you are looking to moderately drink liquor or spirits one drink would be considered 1.5-ounces of 80 proof at 40% alcohol content. Overall, that’s too much alcohol, so it’s a good idea to avoid spirits when drinking in moderation.
Is Drinking Alcohol Everyday Good for Health?
Yes, drinking alcohol every day in moderation is good for your mental and physical health. It does come with risks and it is important to weigh the benefits with the risks to determine if it’s a good choice for you. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggest drinking less than two standard drinks per day to maximize the benefits without increasing health risks.
Is Alcohol Good for Diabetes?
Yes, a moderate amount of alcohol can be very good in reducing the risk of getting diabetes. According to the American Heart Association, a study of 312,000 people found that a moderate amount of alcohol reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes. It reduces the risk by about 30% for all people. However, if you already have diabetes it doesn’t help as much.