If you drink responsibly, reducing the amount of alcohol you consume may not have crossed your mind. But while small, frequent alcohol consumption may not carry serious health concerns, cutting down can still have significant health benefits.
1. Weight loss
For those who believe they enjoy a healthy balanced diet yet struggle to shift that troublesome weight around the middle, the answer could lie in the alcohol you consume. You may exercise regularly, but glasses of wine with dinner and drinks with friends at the weekend can mean that you are drinking a large number of calories. In fact, a single large glass of red wine can contain over 200 calories – more than enough to take you over your recommended daily calorie intake.
2. Higher energy and concentration levels
A glass of wine or a pint of beer can help you to feel more relaxed and loose. However, as a depressant, alcohol can also leave you feeling lethargic and sluggish if consumed at the wrong time or in larger quantities.
As we age, the effects of alcohol – including hangovers – can be more difficult to shake off. If you find that you’re still feeling the effects of Saturday night on Monday morning, it might be time to consider reducing your alcohol consumption. Even a couple of glasses of wine can impact on concentration, energy levels and mood.
3. Better skin
It is well known that alcohol can lead to dehydration. Many of the symptoms of a hangover are closely linked to the body’s reaction to this dehydration – headache, fatigue and, less commonly considered, dry skin.
Water helps the skin keep its elasticity, which keeps us looking fresh, youthful and awake. Too much alcohol, and the skin can dry out, lose its radiance and allow for things such as dark circles and fine lines to develop. Here’s a tip – try taking a photograph of yourself the morning after consuming a lot of alcohol, and then again after abstaining for a few weeks or months. See if you can spot a difference in the appearance of your skin.
4. Improved mood
Alcohol can have a marked effect on mood and the way our brain functions. Bouts of anxiety and even depression are not uncommon amongst drinkers. While those who drink in moderation may not experience the full extent of these problems, it is still possible that your alcohol consumption can cause you to be irritable and short tempered.
5. More restful sleep
Whilst drinking alcohol can make a lot of us very tired, the quality of sleep we receive after consuming alcohol has been shown to be worse than that received after not drinking at all. Studies have suggested that alcohol consumption before bed can cause us to skip the phase of sleep known as REM or rapid eye movement. This phase is an important cognitive function, playing a role in the consolidation of memories and the body’s control of certain hormones.
If you require further advice and guidance on how cutting down on alcohol can help you enjoy health benefits such as weight control, why not consult one of our experienced pharmacists?