Unusual Reasons to Consider Abstinence from Alcohol Even if You’re not an Alcoholic

Not everyone who drinks is an alcoholic. But there’s little evidence that regularly drinking within the approved limits of the U.S. Dietary Guidelines is beneficial. Their standard is one drink or less in a day for women and 2 drinks in a day for men. While the Mayo Clinic does define some benefits of moderate consumption such as decreasing the risk of heart disease and possibly reducing the risk of stroke and diabetes, most healthcare professionals and dieticians would agree that complete abstinence from alcohol combined with regular exercise and a healthy diet would be just as likely, if not more so, to improve health, happiness and longevity. There are, however, a host of unusual reasons to consider complete abstinence from alcohol that many people have not considered. Here’s just a few:

Mom’s may beat their kids less on Super Bowl Sunday.

Based on a recent study in the journal “Alcohol: Clinical and Experimental Research”, investigators found that Mother’s were 2 1/2 times more likely to employ corporal punishment on their children when consuming alcohol on atypical drinking days like Super Bowl Sunday. The study focused mostly on females in the state of Ohio and found that atypical drinking days like Valentines Day, the 4th of July and Superbowl Sunday had considerable effects on parenting and discipline. The take-away: If you want to be 2 1/2 times less likely to physically punish your kids, abstain from alcohol on atypical drinking days.

You’ll save way more money than you think.

If you only drink socially, that is, out in restaurants and bars with friends, and if you stay within the “healthy” guidelines for alcohol consumption, you could save as much as $5,475.00 per year if you’re a male and $2,737.50 if you’re female. These figures are based on imbibing 1-2 drinks per dayay at the average cost of $7.50 per drink served at a restaurant or bar (excluding tips). That’s equivalent to a down payment on a new car, 41.8 shares in Google stock as of December 14, 2023 or 17 months of the average cost of groceries ($322.08) in California. Just think what 17 months of organic veggies instead of 730 alcoholic beverages would do to your waistline.

You might avoid accidental death or major organ failure.

Prescription and over-the-counter medication interactions with alcohol can be deadly. There are a host of medications that people are acutely aware of that you shouldn’t mix alcohol with. Common examples are opioid pain medications and benzodiazepines like Xanax and Valium because they will literally shut your cardiovascular system down. However, there are a number of other medications that people may not know have terrible interactions with alcohol. Have athlete’s foot and it won’t go away? Your doctor might prescribe you oral antifungal medications and, in severe cases, steroidal medications. Combine these meds with alcohol and you may be looking at permanent liver damage and even steroid induced psychosis. Other medications that can cause permanent organ damage combined with alcohol include Advil and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), antibiotics like Zithromax, arthritis medications like Celebrex and ADHD medications like Dexedrine. Bottom line: think before you pop any meds with alcohol, no matter how benign the medication, OTC or otherwise, is.

If you have high-blood pressure, it may significantly decrease by avoiding alcohol altogether.

Regular consumption of alcohol increases blood pressure. To make matters worse, almost half of the United States population has high blood pressure, 48.1% according the the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Combining a lifestyle of regular, moderate drinking and pre-existing high blood pressure only makes things worse. High blood pressure alone can lead to heart attack, stroke, aneurysms, kidney problems, and eye problems like glaucoma. Combine regular alcohol intake with a pre-existing high blood pressure problem and you’re asking for a shorter, more painful life.

You might decrease the chance you develop cancer.

In a recent study published in the journal archive BMJ Open researchers found that those who abstained from alcohol for only a single month saw rapid decreases in chemical messengers associated with cancer progression. In addition, these researchers found that participants also experienced weight reduction, improved insulin response and lower blood pressure. Have a history of cancer in your family? The you might wat to check out this journal article and seriously consider complete abstinence from booze.

While many people have heard that drinking red wine may have beneficial antioxidant properties due to polyphenols and while the Mayo clinic indicates it MAY reduce stroke or the development of diabetes, it’s pretty clear that the benefits of complete abstinence outweigh the possible benefits.

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