Alcohol and Women’s Health



 

Dissecting our collective hangover
If you go back several generations, the emancipated woman wore pants and smoked cigarettes. But for the past few years, our fictitious heroines have moved on to sporting Manolos, and a glass of vino in their hand. Once a realm reserved to men, it is said that alcohol is now becoming increasingly feminine. With this assessment naturally come warnings about how much alcohol should be consumed, as well as the image women are sending when they order a glass of gin and tonic.

Cocktail with a tie
According to this website, men’s alcohol intake should never be higher than three glasses a day, whereas women should limit themselves to just two. It’s not about discrimination, but rather gender specific consequences.In other words, a woman’s metabolism does not transform alcohol like that of our male counterparts: when equal amounts of alcohol are consumed by a woman and a man, the woman’s blood will be more saturated. Because we have more fat and less muscle than men, alcohol isn’t absorbed as easily into our body’s various tissues.

Plus, our liver is smaller and doesn’t metabolize alcohol as quickly, so we also feel its effects faster. This is why the line between “one cocktail” and “completely smashed” is usually finer in women than in men.

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An intoxicating yet sobering effect
Booze will not only give you a serious headache. In fact, scientific research shows a prevalence of breast cancer in women who drink more than one glass a day. On top of all the diseases associated with its consumption, alcohol intake could also increase cancer risk by up to 52%. Ouch!

Why, ladies, why?
Increased alcohol intake in women can be explained through several factors, but the ones that are making the most noise are the role that women must fill in society today, and the pressures that come intrinsically with it. Mommies must be career women, fashionistas, and must love to go camping, while wives must be sexpots. It’s no longer a question of doubling our mandates, but rather increasing them exponentially. To many women, a glass of wine at the end of the day has thus become a release—a precious moment to ourselves.

A worrisome phenomenon
We all know it: alcohol isn’t absorbed as quickly when your stomach is full. Some women grasped this concept early on and a new (and absolutely frightening) movement was born. More and more specialists are talking about alcoholrexia when a person—often a woman—doesn’t eat enough in order to be able to drink more. Because alcohol is high in calories, younger women go as far as denying themselves food so they can indulge in more glasses of vodka-cranberry.

When one glass becomes a bottle…
Unfortunately, the statistics prove that more and more women are drinking a little too much. Because the movement seemed archaic to them, several ladies are turning their back on support organizations like AA, and have created their own methods of rehabilitation. Women from several countries have contributed to making abstinence trendy; sexy, even. And there are so many advantages of reducing alcohol intake: better sleep, more energy, and weight loss.Finally, summer is on its way, with its warm days, and hot nights that will tempt many of us to continue partying until the wee hours of the morning. If the hat fits, why not try practicing moderation by trading in your mojito for an Italian soda? You might not last all night, but you’ll definitely have more energy to get out of bed the next morning.

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