Responsible Alcohol Consumption During the Holidays
While many choose to drink alcohol over the holidays, it's important to emphasize the need to drink responsibly in order to avoid negative consequences among children and adolescents, and for your health.
For many, alcohol has become an indispensable part of social interaction and enjoyment. However, its consumption has negative consequences for our health and our environment, especially for children and adolescents. So, if you’re going to drink alcohol over the holidays, we recommend following responsible alcohol consumption.
What is responsible alcohol consumption?
It means being aware of the amount of acohol that you drink, how often you drink, at what time, and why. Culturally, most consider it a normal habit, yet it’s something we can do without. Have you ever wondered how long you’ve been drinking or how you got started?
Although it’s illegal for minors under the age of 21 to drink in the United States, there’s usually a trigger that prompts you to try it. There are even risk factors, such as someone you look up to drinking alcohol, lack of affection, stress, etc.
In addition, alcohol only provides empty calories, as it doesn’t contain any essential nutrients. It only provides added sugar and perhaps something more, depending on how it’s prepared.
Next, we’re going to talk to you about the impact that alcohol consumption has on your life and on the people around you.
The consequences of alcohol consumption
Alcohol, despite the fact that many claim it’s a source of antioxidants, is harmful to your body. While there are studies that show the benefits of wine, these are observational. There are also numerous lifestyle factors to consider.
At this point, alcohol is the main cause of various pathologies, such as cardiovascular diseases, digestive cancers, dementia, among others. It’s also a cause of mortality for many reasons, especially heart diseases and cancer.
This is true even if you drink between 0.5 ounces and 2 ounces of alcohol at least once a week. In other words, just one can of beer, two glasses of wine, etc., varying according to the alcoholic content of the drinks.
Alcohol also produces liver damage and alters your mood, as well as behavior, which becomes more impulsive and violent. It even produces traffic accidents, so it’s crucial that you avoid drinking if you’re going to be driving.
What’s more, it also increases blood sugar levels, cholesterol, weight gain and obesity rates by displacing the consumption of other less caloric and more nutritionally dense foods or beverages. For all of these reasons, it negatively impacts your quality of life and that of the people who live with you.
The risks of alcohol in children and adolescents
We all know that alcohol consumption is completely illegal for minors under the age of 21 in the United States. It’s an age in which we’re still developing, especially the brain. Therefore, a child’s attention capacity, learning and memory decreases. Indirectly, the number of neurons and their functioning decreases. In addition, coordination worsens.
In the long term, it produces heavy digestion, nutrient deficiencies due to malabsorption, nausea and vomiting, and even headaches. So, be a good example for your children by reducing your alcohol and avoiding drinking if front of them.
What’s more, don’t use alcohol as an escape route from any problem. Remember that your kids see everything you do, and imitate everything you do. Therefore, if they see you drinking alcohol over the holidays – or any time – in an irresponsible way, they may do so as well.
Tips for responsible alcohol consumption over the holidays
- First of all, take a paper and a pen and record your daily and weekly alcohol consumption. We recommend that you also write down the time of day when you drink.
- Then, think about whether you really drink because you feel like it or so that you don’t look bad in front of others. And, ask yourself if it feels good or not. This way, every time someone offers you alcohol, you can refuse it consciously.
- Now that you’ve learned to say no, replace alcohol with another drink like the ones we’ll suggest below. Do so progressively so that it’s easier to make the switch.
Alternatives to drinking alcohol over the holidays
- The main drink we want to suggest as an alternative is water. It goes without saying that everyone needs to drink water, so try to drink at least a couple of glasses a day. You can do this between meals or along with main meals. In case you don’t like it, add a slice and some drops of lemon or orange.
- You can also prepare some homemade refreshments to taste.
- Vegetable or chicken broth.
- Infusions or teas.
- Fruit smoothies or fruit and vegetable juices.
Finally, we hope that you’ve realized that alcohol is harmful and that you’re encouraged to reduce your consumption. You’ll feel better physically and mentally, increasing your energy and concentration. In addition, you’ll be a role model for your children.