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You are here : home > Health > Men's Health > The Buzz on Booze

The Buzz on Booze

Drinking has become a symbol of social status in parties and pubs. We do not understand the repercussions of drinking but it has many ill effects. There are many health problems caused by alcohol consumption. Here's a guide on drinking.

Along with an increase in the number of pubs sprouting up in every corner of India and the increasing number of people going clubbing, comes an increase in the amount of alcohol consumed irresponsibly. There's a reason why they call it intoxication. Alcohol, if consumed in excess, can kill. If those nights spent puking in the toilet or waking up with a massive hangover or holding your head in dizzying agony haven't tipped you off, it's time you got the hint. 

Why do we drink? Because alcohol relaxes us. It also eases our inhibitions, and if taken moderately, it aids circulation and is good for the heart. But if taken excessively, it can be the cause of our ruin. Irresponsible consumption of alcohol causes accidents, crime, violence, ill health and death. 

Some of the other health problems caused by alcohol include:

  • High blood pressure, which consequently leads to heart attacks
  • Obesity - need we remind you of the beer gut? 
  • Memory loss
  • Stomach problems
  • Nerve damage 
  • Depression

Fast Facts

The more you drink, the drunker you'll become. Well, duh…

If you drink less, but in a short time span, you'll get drunker than if you consumed the same amount in a longer time span. 

The thinner you are, the lower your tolerance to alcohol. 

Females have a lower tolerance to alcohol than males. This is because men have more water in their bodies than women, which tends to dilute the alcohol level. 

As you age, your alcohol tolerance level diminishes. 

Your body's immunity level and inbuilt ability to deal with the alcohol also determines how drunk you become. 

So how much is too much? For men, anything exceeding 1½ - 2 pints of ordinary strength beer, or 3-4 glasses of wine in a day is too much. Women should have half that amount. 

Tips on drinking responsibly

  1. If you're having a cocktail, take it with a juice instead of with a fizzy soft drink. e.g. go for the Screwdriver (vodka-orange juice) instead of the vodka-Citra. 
  2. As a rule of thumb, drink a glass of water after every alcoholic drink. Alcohol acts as a diuretic, which means it flushes out all the water from your system and dehydrates you. You need to replenish all that liquid or you'll have a nasty hangover the next morning, so down all the H2o you can. 
  3. Be good to your tummy. "Don't drink and drink - eat and drink!" Don't drink on an empty stomach. Food softens the blow of the alcohol on the intestines. True, when you're getting ready for a night out, dal and chapatti is the last thing on your mind, but don't skip dinner. Grab a sandwich or some fries, and when you're at the party or nightclub, make sure you keep a bowl of munchies right next to you so you can keep popping them in. 
  4. Don't listen to anyone who tells you not to mix sweet and alcohol. When you consume alcohol, your blood sugar levels drop. You need to compensate, so gobble up that chocolate pastry without thinking twice. Yes, drinking is a high-caloric activity. Not a very bright choice if you want to lose weight, huh? 
  5. Keep in mind that the cheaper the drink, the more lethal it is, and the more   the likelihood of a lethal hangover. The worst hangover is from cheap red wine, so choose your drinks with care and drink accordingly. If you're drinking cheap stuff, go easy on the quantity, while if you're drinking the premium brands, you can afford to have a glass or two more. 
  6. Spread out your drinking over a longer time period. You'll still get drunk, but your system won't be as shocked as it would be if you gulp your drinks. 
  7. Take a multi-vitamin when you get home, to replenish the minerals you've flushed out during your many trips to the loo. 
  8. Electrolytes help replenish your body's fluid loss, so drink a glass when you get home. Keep the packet on your bedside table along with a bottle of water. You'll thank yourself the next morning if you wake up feeling sick. 
  9. The morning after, and your head feels like it's going to explode? Do NOT reach for the coffee. It will NOT make you feel better. Coffee will further dehydrate you, and it's a bad choice. Put the bottle of water to your mouth and pour it in, along with electrolyte. 
  10. Rest, rest, rest. Don't go to work. Call in sick, because you are sick. Give your body time to recover.

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