The Revolution: Women & Alcohol
Every woman likes to enjoy a Girls Night Out, but how much alcohol is too much? With news reports touting the health benefits of beverages like red wine, it’s easy to assume you can indulge. But how much is a glass of a red wine supposed to be?
The Revolution: Wine Serving Size
Dr. Jennifer Ashton asked Dr. Tiffanie Davis Henry to pour what she considers a normal glass of wine. She poured a humongous glass of red wine, filling up half of a large glass. Dr. Jennifer had her pour again, stopping her around a quarter of the way.
One serving of wine equals 5 ounces, but Dr. Jennifer said bars and restaurants tend to pour more than 40% higher than that serving size. She said there can be hidden drinks in what you order at the bar.
The Revolution: Liquor Serving Size
A shot is 1.5 ounces of liquor. If you order a Margarita, you might be getting more than one shot in that single drink. Martinis often have two servings of alcohol. Mixed drinks like Long Island Iced Tea can have as many as four servings of alcohol in one drink.
Dr. Jennifer said you could be thinking you have three drinks a week, but you may actually be consuming as many as eight servings of alcohol.
Moderate Drinking Vs Heavy Drinking
Audience member Kate is a social drinker, and she wanted to know if it’s okay to drink as many as four drinks in a social setting. Dr. Jennifer said one serving of alcohol per day is considered moderate drinking for women. Heavy drinking is more than seven servings per week, which is can easily add up in these bar drinks.
The Revolution: Alcohol Side Effects
Heavy drinking can take its toll on the body. Effects can include shrinking brain tissue as well as liver and kidney damage. Of course pregnant women have greater risks associated with alcohol, including serious birth defects.
Red Wine & Heart Health
Dr. Jennifer said there are heart health benefits to red wine because of the chemical Resveratrol. But she said you have to weigh the benefits and the risks.
The Revolution: Alcohol Abuse Resources
Dr. Tiffanie said she’s often asked how you know if you have a problem with alcohol. She said if you are able to limit your consumption, you are probably fine. But if it interrupts your life, it can be a big issue.
Thinking about your daily habits and the part alcohol plays in your routine can help you figure out if it’s a problem. 4.3 million American women abuse alcohol. Dr. Tiffanie said you can have a trusted friend keep you accountable. Set a drink maximum for yourself and trust them to help you enforce that.
The Revolution: Alcohol Addiction Resources
If you have an alcohol problem, seek professional help before things get out of control. You can talk to your doctor or find resources online or in your community. It’s nothing to be embarrassed about, Dr. Tiffanie said, because you can’t face your problem if you don’t admit to it.
For more resources, visit the National Institutes Of Health Alcoholism Resources.