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  • Risks Of Drinking Whiskey Every Day

    Published on September 20, 2021
    Drinking Whiskey Every Day | Risks Vs. Benefits

    As with any other type of alcohol, whiskey is believed by many to have mild to moderately beneficial effects when consumed in moderation. 

    This means drinking no more than 3oz of whiskey per day for men (2 shots of whiskey) and 1.5oz per day for women (1 shot of whiskey), with no additional alcoholic drinks.

    Potential Health Benefits Of Whiskey

    Whiskey contains a variety of organic compounds and a high alcohol content, both of which can benefit moderate drinkers in certain ways.

    Does Not Interfere With Weight Loss

    Straight whiskey has fewer calories than many other drinks and contains no carbohydrates or sugars. It also boasts ellagic acid, a micronutrient found in fruits and vegetables thought to reduce inflammation and combat a person’s risk of developing obesity.

    Lowers Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

    Moderate alcohol consumption may actually reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes in those who don’t have it. 

    And, because whiskey is low carb, it can be consumed straight by those with diabetes, though you should watch out for changing blood sugar levels if you do choose to partake. 

    Improves Heart Health

    Like red wine, whiskey can benefit your heart health and lower your risk of heart disease, heart attack, and ischemic stroke by:

    • contributing polyphenols (natural antioxidants that help neutralize free radicals)
    • expanding your blood vessels to reduce the risk posed by blood clots
    • reducing “bad cholesterol” (LDL) 
    • increasing “good cholesterol” (HDL)
    • reducing your triglyceride and fat levels in the bloodstream
    • reducing your risk of heart disease over time 

    Improves Immune System Function

    Some studies have linked moderate alcohol consumption with improved immune system function.

    This is evidenced by lower cases of the common cold, improved antibody response, and improved vaccine response in those who enjoy drinking alcohol in moderation, compared to non-drinkers and heavy drinkers. This includes hard liquors like whiskey.

    Whiskey can also help with the symptoms of some diseases when you do get sick, expanding your blood vessels to clear mucus congestion and calming an overactive coughing response. This actually lends some credibility to the Hot Toddies cure for the common cold.

    Reduces Risk Of Dementia

    The same polyphenols that can help improve heart health may also help maintain your brain health, reducing your long-term risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. 

    This effect may also have something to do with the alcohol itself and its effects on the brain’s neurotransmitters. 

    Potential Health Risks Of Drinking Whiskey Every Day

    Whenever experts uncover another positive association between personal health and alcohol consumption, they are quick to emphasize that these benefits are only suspected at low levels of consumption.

    Others are just as fast to point out that any level of alcohol consumption involves risks, and that there may not be a safe level of daily alcohol consumption at all. 

    Some of these potential risks include:

    Sleep Disruption

    Drinking a large amount of alcohol before going to bed can keep you up longer, interfere with your quality of sleep, and prompt you to wake up sooner and not be able to go back to sleep.

    But even drinking a moderate amount of alcohol before bed, while it may sometimes help you fall asleep quicker, interferes with your REM cycles, meaning that your sleep will tend to be noticeably less restful.

    Pregnancy Concerns

    Those who are pregnant or who are actively trying to become pregnant are generally advised to avoid even moderate drinking, which can cause developmental problems and increase the risk of miscarriage and premature birth.

    Dangerous Interactions

    Alcohol interacts negatively with any number of common and uncommon medications like acetaminophen, antidepressants, anticonvulsants, sedatives, and opioids. Even low levels of alcohol consumption with some of these drugs can lead to severe if not dangerous health effects. 

    Alcohol Use Disorder

    For some, a glass of wine or a shot of whiskey is a nice way to relax. But for others with a natural inclination towards alcoholism, routine alcohol consumption of any form can be a gateway to a lifelong struggle with alcohol use disorder.

    Heavy alcohol use reverses all of the health benefits listed above, potentially leading to: 

    • damaged immune function
    • long-term mental health problems
    • decreased sexual desire and performance
    • changes in behavior and personality
    • elevated blood pressure
    • high cholesterol
    • increased cancer risk
    • alcoholic liver disease

    If you struggle with problematic drinking, contact us today to learn about our personalized addiction treatment services.

    Written by Ark Behavioral Health Editorial Team
    ©2024 Ark National Holdings, LLC. | All Rights Reserved.
    This page does not provide medical advice.

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) - Facts about moderate drinking
    Encyclopedia Britannica - whiskey
    Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health - Alcohol: Balancing Risks and Benefits
    Journal of Food Science - Reactive oxygen scavenging activity of matured whiskey and its active polyphenols
    National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) - Drinking Levels Defined

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