How Much Alcohol is Too Much?


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Being this is a college town I felt this would be a great topic to kick the weekend off with. It's funny because Growing up both my father and grandfather were the perfect stereotypes for Irishmen. By its current definition they both were alcoholics, but neither ever displayed the negative effects. One of the most comical memories I have of my grandfather was when I was about 11. We were on vacation in Colorado Springs. This day we decided to go fishing early in the morning since in the afternoon it was supposed to rain. As we were leaving my grandmother asked my grandfather if he packed snacks and he pointed at his backpack and said everything I need is right here. Once we got to the stream my grandfather unfolded his chair and sat down. My brother and I were sitting closer to the stream as we actually were there to fish. He unzipped his backpack and began to pull out beer after beer. I found this odd as the sun was only just breaking the horizon.

My grandfather never showed signs of intoxication and rarely ever became impaired. I have hundreds of these stories and my wife can confirm quite a few from just encountering my family. Both my father and grandfather were very successful in life, in great shape, amazing family figures, active in the community, and smart. Everything I had ever been told about alcohol seemed to be negated just by observing them both. My grandfather was VP of MetLife and swam each morning. My father was Special Forces in the Army, owns part of a Canadian overlay company and power lifts still even though he is well into his 50's.

My grandfather is actually on Budweiser's delivery route. Every couple weeks a giant semi parks outside his house and brings in a pallet of Budweiser.

So, how do people like this sustain themselves when EVERYTHING I read tells me they should be abusive sloths who's personal and professional life is falling apart?

I recently read an article that explains that making such rigid guidelines is actually a huge mistake. Each person is different and alcohol affects us all differently. Now, I'm not suggesting that going out and getting black out drunk every night has no consequences, but drinking in moderation (I use this loosely) could actually benefit you. This is something that is contrary to popular belief.

Excessive drinking (another term loosely defined by me) can have some very severe negative effects. Brain damage can occur, cirrhosis of the liver can happen, as well as a number of social effects. So where do we draw the line and what statistics or research should we deem valid.

From what I have read it is really I personal realization. You as an adult need to be cognizant of the effects and if it is affecting you negatively. Drinking has been part of human history for as long as we can track it. Egyptians actually paid their surfs in beer. Were they all unsuccessful raging alcoholics? Hell no, they built incredible structures that still fascinate us to this day.

Negative dependance should be taken seriously. I am not advocating heaving drinking often, but I am saying that because you have a few drinks throughout the week this does not mean your life will soon be in ruins. I am simply shining light on something often overlooked or ignored all together.

There are several things that drinking positively affects. Did you know that red wine actually helps raise red blood cell counts? Moderate drinking often will actually help reduce blood pressure and anxiety.

This is something I am sure no one even thought about. I was working a welding job once at a chemical plant. We were exposed to some chemicals in a gas cloud. My coworkers and I all had to go get blood test from a doctor. There were four different chemicals that the doctor could not identify in our bloodstream. His medical recommendation to help pass them out of our systems was to go get smashed. Apparently the alcohol would bond with the chemicals and help move it safely out of our systems. Crazy right?


Couple of links to support my rant:

Slate News
About.com
ScienceNetLinks
Alcoholism Test









1 Comment

Not all wines and not all red wines have substantial health benefits. According to this page, red wines with higher flavonoid levels are the most beneficial. Those are the dry red wines, sweeter wine has much less health benefit, if any at all.

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