by Susan Schachter January 15, 2019 3 min read
When it comes to controlling our blood pressure, we know that moderating our alcohol intake is an important lifestyle choice.
More than one or two drinks in one sitting temporarily creates a rapid rise in your BP. If you already have high BP, this rapid rise could cause a stroke.
Unsurprisingly, repeated binge drinking can create long-term elevations of BP. According to the CDC, binge drinking is defined by a person having a blood alcohol level of .08% or more, which usually corresponds to 5 or more servings on a single occasion for men and 4 or more on a single occasion for women, generally within 2 hours. That could be the equivalent of 2 cocktails!
What is one serving of alcohol?
What is drinking in moderation?
Most of us don't realize that bars and restaurants give you a "generous pour". When drinking outside the home, it's not unusual for a glass of wine to contain 1.5 servings or for a cocktail to contain 3 servings. Even in our homes, most of us have wine glasses that are much larger than people used to use back in the day, and an optical illusion is created. We think we're drinking less than we actually are drinking!
*NOTE: This should be counted per day, not averaged over the course of a week.
As you might know, lots of people make it their New Year’s Resolution to give up alcohol for the month of January. However, if you’re one of these people who partakes in “Dry January”, you might be wondering “are there any benefits beyond that month?” or “what if I don’t do an entire month?”
In a 2018 study by the University of Sussex in England, these questions drove the research. Results showed that in the months following the study, on average, the number of drinking days per week decreased, the amount of alcohol consumed on any given day decreased, and the frequency of being drunk decreased. While these results were slightly diminished for those that didn’t complete the entire month, they too experienced the benefits of abstaining from alcohol.
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