Five Reasons Women Should Drink Less Than Men

wine and cancer

If you are cutting down on drinking, these reasons may help.

wine and cancer

I have never been much of a drinker, because while I enjoy a glass of wine here and there, I need to be on my A-game to manage a full-time career, fitness lifestyle, and amazing family of six. I will say however, that there have been times when I may have wanted to drink more, or wished that I hadn’t drank as much, so just like anything else, drinking is a balancing act.

Aside from an increased risk of breast cancer, consuming alcohol in excess can have some pretty harsh effects, and in social situations, we may feel the need to ‘keep up’. I also know there is a natural competition between men and women, especially in the workplace, which could bleed into happy hour if you let it. The problem with that, is women and men don’t metabolize alcohol in the same way, or at the same time. So if you are looking for a reason to cut down on the sauce, here are five perfectly good reasons to help you learn to say no.

Fat affects alcohol metabolism, and women have about 10% more body fat than men. This extra fat makes us great at childbirth, but not so great at losing weight. So basically, women don’t absorb alcohol as quickly, so alcohol that would have just absorbed into male muscle floats around the female blood stream causing trouble.

READ MORE: Can Alcohol Increase Your Risk of Breast Cancer?

Women carry more water weight than men, so they dilute alcohol more slowly. This means that a woman who drinks as much as a man will become more drunk simply because the alcohol doesn’t dilute as easily in her body.

There are two enzymes that break down alcohol: alcohol dehydrogenase, and aldehyde dehydrogenase. Women have lower levels of both these enzymes, thus they process alcohol more slowly and it lingers longer in their system.

Women are more at risk for liver disease, according to a 2016 study of the damaging effects of alcohol. They are also more likely to develop brain damage and heart disease as caused by alcohol, even if they don’t drink as much.

Women weigh less than men. This one may seem obvious, but men on average weight about 30 pounds more than women, so because of their weight, women will typically get drunk faster and stay drunk longer than their male counterparts.

So the next time you catch yourself slamming shots with a male coworker, just remember that your body may not handle the alcohol the way his does, and risking sickness or potential health issues for the sake of saving face is a color that doesn’t look good on anybody.

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Published by karenmsutton

HSS Orthopaedic surgeon in sports medicine | Mother of 4 amazing children | Team physician for USA Women's Lacrosse | ACL injury expert

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