The Maximum Amount of Alcohol You Should Drink Each Week

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You might want to rethink your evening drinking routine. According to a new study, having a night cap could be doing more harm than good.

The study, which is published in the new alcohol units and guidelines distributed by the National Health Service in Britain, sheds light on the idea that you might be drinking too much. According to the guidelines, men and women are advised not to regularly drink more than 14 units of alcohol a week. This boils down to about 7 standard size glasses of wine a week, or 7 beers a week.

American studies, however, show a bit more leniency in the number of allotted drinks than the new British guidelines. According to a study conducted by the CDC, women should not exceed 8 drinks per week, and men should not consume more than 15 drinks per week.

Before you rethink your drinking habits and label yourself an alcoholic, it is important to note that the study also reveals that most people who were classified as “excessive drinkers” (consuming more than 7 drinks a week) were not found to be alcohol dependent.

“This study shows that, contrary to popular opinion, most people who drink too much are not alcohol dependent,” says Robert Brewer, an epidemiologist with the Centers for Disease Control and prevention, and co-author of the study told NPR.

So, although you may have more than the advised number of drinks per week, you will not experience withdrawal from alcohol or an increased tolerance of alcohol. But, according to the NHS, there are still major health risks associated with over consumption of alcohol, which should not be overlooked.

The guidelines note that excising health conditions can be affected by drinking, including, “heart disease, liver disease, and diabetes.” The release notes that these conditions can especially be affected with you drink more than the suggested units.

Sally Davies, the chief medical officer for England, tells the New York Times, that the notion that a glass of red wine being good for your heart should be considered, an “old wives’ tale.” A better idea, according to Davis is “Drink a glass of tea, or cup of tea, instead of a glass of wine and save a glass of wine for a special occasion.”

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And just in case you needed another reason to cut back on your alcohol consumption, alcohol and working out is not a good combination. According to Bodybuilding.com, consuming alcohol can affect your training, up to days later, and as we know, hydration plays a major role in our workout routine and overall how we feel in the gym. If you find yourself out the night before leg day, or any big training day, be sure to be smart about how much you drink, and how fast you’re consuming.

“Since alcohol consumption is very hard on the kidneys, drinking will have a negative impact on your body’s hydration… Hydration is key to performance in sports or weight lifting because water is needed in all energy-creating reactions. It can take the body awhile to become re-hydrated, so I suggest if you are out drinking, have a glass of water as well, to maintain proper hydration,” the site says.

Although it is easy to get swept up in the moment and pound a few back with your friends, it is important to know the suggested guidelines of drinks per week and realize the effect alcohol has on your body, especially if you go past these limits.

So, if you want your mind and body to be 100% into your workout, and your body to be healthy, it might be best to lay off the beers the night before a gym session. It’s also wise to scale back the amount of beers you have while you are out, especially during weeknights.

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