Aloha my fellow Whiskey hounds,
I was reading this thread: http://www.straightbourbon.com/forum...n-do-you-drink and was about to reply to it, but then decided this was a topic I wanted to cover that deserves it's own. Some folks in that thread were surprised at how most folks on this forum don't really drink that much whiskey as they thought.
It doesn't surprise me.
This is a forum of aficionados. We collect a multitude of variety, we like different taste experiences, and most here don't like to get drunk. (despite my sig, which is just a funny joke my buds and I used to tell each other in college), I don't like to get drunk either. But I sure do like to get a moderate, relaxing buzz.
I think most folks here are the quality over quantity valued folks. I may not post much, but I read pretty regularly. I "know" most of the regulars around here, and I doubt there is a true, out of control alcoholic amongst this fine assemblage of Whiskey enthusiasts.
But even amongst the temperate, occasional drinkers (2 or 3 drams a night drinkers is NOT abusive), there is this vague unease with the potential health effects we may suffer from enjoying our hobby here.
I'm here to try and help you set your mind at ease.
The abuse of alcohol gives any level of alcohol consumption a bad reputation. But the studies that get conducted time after time, in different countries with different populations around the world are conclusive:
The Daily Moderate Consumption of Alcohol is GOOD FOR YOU.
It is MEDICINE. Like any other medicine, the difference between health benefits or health detriments is a matter of dosage.
Furthermore, you can't let legal definitions and one-size-fits-all pronouncements from the Government and Health Authorities determine for you whether your damaging yourself or not. (.08 BAC is legally drunk?!?!? For a 180 lbs. man who's been drinking over over a decade? Puhleaze!)
We all have different tolerance levels, size, weight, and drinking rituals.
For me, I say you really have to know yourself. A hangover, even a mild one, indicates you've overdosed on the medicine. Too many overdoses of medication is bad for your health, OF COURSE. Most people don't really think about it, but overdosing on Tylenol will destroy your liver faster than drinking a pint of whiskey a day.
But I digress.
If you drink your personal tolerance level of alcohol on a regular basis, get a good buzz, and awake the next morning without a hangover...you've figured out the correct dosage of this life extending medicine.
And I'm not just using hyperbole here.
Check out these links, which form the basis for my contention here:
"I have earlier described evidence from a large British study that identified a positive impact of the moderate consumption of alcohol on longevity — in their case, apparently adding about 1.5 years to a lifespan. Now, from my own university comes another large, careful study that supports this conclusion, while doing a little better job of eliminating other possible factors that might account for this longevity benefit."
"Moderate drinkers tend to have better health and live longer than those who are either abstainers or heavy drinkers. In addition to having fewer heart attacks and strokes, moderate consumers of alcoholic beverages (beer, wine and distilled spirits or liquor) are generally less likely to suffer strokes, diabetes, arthritis, enlarged prostate, dementia (including Alzheimer’s disease), and several major cancers."
"BOSTON - (March 3, 2009) In an epidemiological study of men and post-menopausal women primarily over 60 years of age, regular moderate alcohol intake was associated with greater bone mineral density (BMD). Researchers at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging (USDA HNRCA) at Tufts University found associations were strongest for beer and wine and, importantly, BMD was significantly lower in men drinking more than two servings of liquor per day. The results suggest that regular moderate consumption of beer or wine may have protective effects on bone, but that heavy drinking may contribute to bone loss (see also Tufts University, Health Sciences)."
Like any medicine, DOSAGE is the key.
So take heart my friends. Absolve yourself of the guilt, quit beating yourself up and think that any level of alcohol consumption is "bad" for your health. That's simply not true.
If you're drinking to the point of even a mild hangover....well, you're overdoing your dosage. Find your proper level of tolerance and enjoy our noble hobby without guilt or fear.
Temperate imbibers live longer then both heavy drinkers AND teetotalers!
Stay thirsty my friends.