You do not drink at breakfast, do not cheat a secret drink at noon… You have a drink with your friends or colleagues – mostly at the weekend. You have no serious health issues, and you do sports. You don’t get bad hangovers. But do you really have nothing to worry about?
You work long hours, maybe you have some relationship issues, or you are just socially active. There are many reasons why men aged 20 to 40 tend to drink. Studies show that alcohol consumption is highest for employed individuals. Also, it is not necessary to go out to have a drink. It’s alright to sip a beer while watching TV but if it’s a couple of beers, then unfortunately you’ve exceeded your daily dose. A frequent practice is excessive alcohol consumption over the weekend – you go to a club with your friends, and then nobody counts the drinks.
Then where is the problem? – It is very easy to cross the line to where drinking becomes harmful.
Studies show that at least a quarter of men drink more than eight units of alcohol once a week in Europe. Over a week-long period, such an amount is acceptable; however, at one sitting – far too much. If you regularly drink too much, it inevitably has consequences on your body. Starting with the fact that it’s harder to do sports and ending with an increased risk of cancer.
It is simply not true that alcohol-related illnesses predominantly affect senior men. Doctors have recognized that liver diseases are more and more common in the thirty-to-forty age group. Alcohol can damage the heart, pancreas, oesophagus, colon, while also causing sleep disturbances and depression. Moreover, health is not the only thing to worry about. Men under the influence of excessive amounts of alcohol often become victims of crime or become violent themselves.
Maybe it’s time to rethink what, and how much, you drink.
- The Liver
Alcohol consumption most often leads to liver disease. Particularly affecting middle-aged men, especially between the ages of 35 and 45. In addition, there is no need to be an alcoholic to suffer liver damage. Regular drinking is enough to put yourself at risk. In 2009, 1222 people were diagnosed with malignant liver tumours in Latvia, while 390 patients died of liver cirrhosis.
Drinking more than two or three drinks per day increases the risk of oesophageal, throat, laryngeal, and colorectal cancer.
Sperm quality is negatively impacted by alcohol consumption. This results in healthy spermatozoa not being produced in sufficient quantities for the egg to be successfully fertilized. Additionally, excessive drinking directly hinders potency!
- The Heart
Alcohol increases blood pressure which can lead to heart disease. Excessive alcohol consumption in large quantities, say, at the weekend, increases your heart rate leading to an increased risk of heart disease. Regular week-long benders can lead to a pathologically enlarged heart.
- Crimes and Violence
Data on individuals who have suffered from crime while being under the influence of alcohol are not collected in Latvia. However, studies in the United Kingdom show that around 40% of victims over a weekend were under the influence of alcohol, and between midnight and 5 AM this figure is much higher – 70%. If you drink too much, you too can become aggressive. Data show that around 45% of crimes were committed under the influence of alcohol.
What to Do?
- By decreasing the units of alcohol consumed in a week, you’ll see benefits soon. You will have more time, more money, more energy for improved performance everywhere – in bed, at the gym, or on the playing field.
- If you are planning to have drinks at the weekend, skip alcohol during the week. If you know that you will have a drink after work, have a hearty lunch beforehand.
- If you know that alcohol helps you feel more relaxed, give yourself a limit on drinks and do not surpass it.
- Pay attention to what you drink at home. Most likely you will pour yourself four times more alcohol than in a bar – avoid that.
- Alternate your drinks – alcoholic, non-alcoholic, alcoholic, non-alcoholic.
- If work is stressful, find another way to eliminate the tension – go to the gym, play basketball, choose another sport suitable for you, listen to music, watch TV, go to the cinema, or cook.