You’ll Boost Your Heart Health
It turns out you really can drink to your heart’s content. People who drink alcohol in moderation are up to 25 percent less likely to develop heart disease (which kills about one million Americans a year) than those who drink no alcohol at all, according to a recent study published in the British Medical Journal. Why? Alcohol has anti-inflammatory properties, thinning your blood, increasing your levels of HDL (good) cholesterol, and breaking up LDL (bad) cholesterol.
You’ll Prevent Strokes
Think strokes were your parents’ problem? Think again: People younger than 55 currently make up about 19 percent of all stroke patients—up almost 50 percent from 1993, according to a new study published in Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. Luckily, by improving blood and oxygen flow and preventing blood clots that can block arteries to you brain, moderate alcohol consumption can reduce your risk of stroke, according to a recent study published in the journal Stroke.
You’ll Beat the Common Cold
Your favourite libation can cut down the cold virus. People who have one to two drinks a day have an 65 percent greater resistance to the cold than do those who shun the sauce, according to research published in the American Journal of Public Health. Researchers believe that alcohol’s anti-inflammatory effect may suppress the production of mucus while limiting the replication of cold viruses.
You’ll Cut Your Risk of Diabetes
Have one to two drinks of alcohol a day and you’ll reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 36 percent, according to research from the Harvard School of Public Health. Alcohol works its magic by promoting insulin secretion and helping glucose get inside cells, fueling their activity and reducing the amount of sugar in the bloodstream. Lowering your blood glucose levels can also lower your risk of developing the disease, which, according to the American Diabetes Association, affects 11.8 percent and 10.8 percent of men and women ages 20 and older, respectively.
You’ll Think Outside the Box
Got a real brainteaser on your hands? Have a drink. When University of Illinois at Chicago researchers studied the blood alcohol level of 0.07 were better at creative-solving tasks. That’s because alcohol helps the brain access remote ideas that through association, not (sober) linear analysis, according to researchers. Linear reasoning can actually keep people focused on unhelpful ideas and stunt problem-solving skills.
When you consider the fact that we’re a country dotted with coffee shops, juice bars and convenience stores that offer tanker-sized soda options, then it’s no surprise that many of us drink way more calories than we need to. In fact, adding empty liquid calories is one of the worst dietary offenses we make. But the problem isn’t just the added calories; it’s also that many junky drinks can also influence hunger and fullness—thus coaxing you to eat even more.
So, before sabotaging your diet with drinks that would be the dietary equivalent of a Cinnabon buffet, learn the best beverages to drink—and the best times to have them.
When to Have… WATER
- You’re feeling fatigue, have a headache, or are just plain old grumpy: In a study published in The Journal of Nutrition, participants who were dehydrated by more than 1 percent reported decreased mood, lower concentration, and headaches. According to the study’s authors, certain neurons detect dehydration and may signal other brain regions that regulate mood and cognitive functions. “A rule of thumb is that women need about 11 8 oz. cups of water a day and men need around 15 cups,” says nutritionist Amanda Berhaupt-Glickstein.
- You want to lose weight: In meeting of The American Chemical Society, researchers found that over 12 weeks, dieters who drank water before meals three times per day lost about 5 pounds more than dieters who did not increase their water intake. Good guidelines: Drink two cups before every meal.
- You exercise for less than 90 minutes: Just because you sweat doesn’t mean you should reach for a sports drink. Yes, you need water for rehydration and because it helps lubricates joints and provides cushioning to organs and muscles, along with many other vital processes. However, people often overestimate their needs for sugar and sports drinks when exercising, says Lisa C. Cohn, owner of Park Avenue Nutrition in New York. “Really, only water is needed unless you are active for more than 90 minutes with moderate to high intensity.” Drink about 15 to 20 ounces two to three hours before exercise, and 8 to 10 ounces 10 to 15 minutes beforehand, and the same amount every 10 to 15 minutes during exercise.
When to Have… TEA
- You’re going through caffeine withdrawal: Black tea may be the way to go when you want to reduce caffeine consumption, says Lisa Roberts-Lehan, a certified health and nutritional consultant and holistic chef. “It has about 50 mg of caffeine per 8 oz. cup, as compared to coffee, which has between 100 to 190 mg per 8 oz. cup.”
- You have stomach issues: In Traditional Chinese Medicine, teas are said to improve digestion by neutralizing the stomach acids. Roberts-Lehan recommends Oolong tea to support the digestive system because of its detoxifying qualities, while Cohn advises such as earl grey or lady grey with bergamont and ginger for their stomach-smoothing qualities.
When to Have… JUICE
- You need constipation relief: Prune juice is rich in vitamin C and minerals, such as calcium and iron. It also has high insoluble fiber content, which helps move waste through the intestines to be eliminated, says nutritionist Robin Miller, author of many cookbooks, including Robin Takes 5. Drink some on the morning to help balance out the nutrients in breakfast. Juice is best partnered with lean protein and complex carbohydrates to kick off the metabolism. Always look for 100 percent juice to avoid added sugars and calories.
- You have a urinary tract infections (UTI): Cranberry juice contains substances that inhibit the binding of bacteria to bladder tissue, which can help prevent urinary tract infections, according to a study published in the Journal Food Science and Biotechnology. If you often suffer from recurrent UTI episodes, try a daily glass of 100 percent cranberry juice.
- You have a high-fat meal: Having orange juice after double cheeseburger may help to neutralize the inflammatory response of a high fat meal. It may work because OJ works as an antioxidant, which would neutralize inflammation and help prevent damage to the blood vessels, according to University of Buffalo researchers. Drink one glass after a high-fat meal.
1. You lose arguments with inanimate objects.
2. You have to hold onto the lawn to keep from falling off the earth
3. Job interfering with your drinking.
4. Your doctor finds traces of blood in your alcohol stream.
5. Career won’t progress beyond Senator from Massachusettes.
6. The back of your head keeps getting hit by the toilet seat.
7. Sincerely believe alcohol to be the elusive 5th food group.
8. Twenty four hours in a day, 24 beers in a case - coincidence?? - I think not!
9. Two hands and just one mouth… - now THAT’S a drinking problem!
10. “Norm!” is what they say when you enter the bar.
11. When you can focus better with one eye closed
12. The parking lot seems to have moved while you were in the bar
13. Every woman you see has an exact twin.
14. You wake up to find Windows 95 installed on your machine.
15. If you keep asking your wife “where are the kids?”, but you don’t
really have a wife and you’re talking to the refridgerator.
16. You fall off the floor.
17. You discover in the morning liquid cleaning supplies have disappeared.
18. Your twin sons are named Barley and Hops.
19. Had “Spuds McKenzie” tattoo removed, replaced it with “Red Dog.”
20. Hey, 5 beers has just as many calories as a burger, screw dinner!