Drinking Habits To Avoid On The Road To Good Health In Your 50s

Drinking Habits To Avoid On The Road To Good Health In Your 50s
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If you’re over 50, your body can’t handle alcohol the way it used to.

That’s because as we age, our ability to metabolize alcohol changes.

Alcohol is a toxin that stays in your system until the liver breaks it down. The liver’s capacity to break down alcohol slows with age, so older people get intoxicated more quickly than younger people. This means drinking less alcohol is particularly important for people over 50. There are some drinking habits you should avoid as a senior in order to keep your heart healthy. Here are some of them:

  • Drinking every day. Some studies have shown that moderate drinking may have some health benefits, but the keyword here is “moderate.” Drinking alcohol every day can increase your risk of high blood pressure, stroke and other cardiovascular problems. It’s best to limit yourself to having a drink only once or twice each week, if at all.
  • Drinking while taking medication. As you get older, your chances of taking prescription medication go up — and so does the likelihood that you’ll be drinking while on some type of medication. Medications such as sedatives for sleep, pain relievers and antidepressants can interact dangerously with alcohol — causing dizziness, drowsiness or breathing problems. Talk with your doctor about what’s safe for you to consume while on medication.
  • Drinking on an empty stomach. Whether it’s a martini before dinner or a glass of wine with a snack, drinking alcohol without food can lead to a rapid rise in blood alcohol levels and make you feel drunker faster. It also speeds up the effects of alcohol on the brain and nervous system, which can cause dizziness, slurred speech and poor coordination (which are not good if you’re driving home from happy hour!).
  • Drinking when you’re stressed. If you’re like most people, there are times when you reach for a drink to help relax, especially if you’ve had a stressful day. But consuming alcohol, especially in excess, can actually make feelings of anxiety worse by disrupting sleep and increasing blood pressure.

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Anna Daniels

Anna is an avid blogger with an educational background in medicine and mental health. She is a generalist with many other interests including nutrition, women's health, astronomy and photography. In her free time from work and writing, Anna enjoys nature walks, reading, and listening to jazz and classical music.

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