12 Reasons Why You Should Have a Drink

Rucuss staffDecember 3, 2012

Don’t be scared to have a drink at the club.

As it turns out, it could possibly benefit you in the long run. Medical research reveals that there are benefits to moderately drinking alcohol. So go out with the girls or the fellas and enjoy a few margaritas, sangrias or cocktails, you deserve it!

Fitbie has put together a list of reasons why you should have a drink. Check out the list below.

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 favorite 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. University of Illinois at Chicago researchers found that people with a blood alcohol level of 0.07 or higher 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.

You’ll Slim Down

A recent study published in The Archives of Internal Medicine found that women who have one or two drinks a day are less likely to gain weight than those who abstain. The key lies in alcohol’s role in insulin secretion and blood sugar regulation. What’s more, your body requires a whole lot of energy to process alcohol, which can actually get your metabolism humming, Pace says. Your body wants to store excess glucose (or sugar) in your blood as fat, so if you keep your blood sugar in check, you can prevent packing on energy reserves around your waist. All alcohol contains seven calories per gram, so the mixes are what really make the caloric difference: Pace recommends using seltzer, tea, coffee, or natural fruit essences.

You’ll Make Friends

You probably didn’t need a study to tell you this, but here it is: Moderate amounts of alcohol can boost positive emotions and social bonding, according to University of Pittsburgh researchers. While alcohol is long known for lowering inhibitions, researchers are looking into why booze makes us bond. And the benefits don’t stop there. “Socialization has been long associated with a decreased risk of morbidity and better mental health,” Pace says.

You’ll Cut the Risk of Several Cancers

Overdo it, and alcohol can raise your risk of breast cancer, oral cancer, and more. But enjoy a glass or two a day and you can more than halve your risk of Hodgkin’s lymphoma (which originates and spreads from the lymph nodes), according to research published in the International Journal of Cancer. Alcohol has also been linked to a reduction in risk of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, thyroid cancer, and kidney cancer. Still, the exact reason is unknown.

You’ll Avert Osteoporosis

It’s not just milk that builds strong bones. Alcohol increases bone density, reduces the risk for hip fracture, and is associated with reduced bone loss over time, according to a medical review published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. It works by reducing bone turnover, in which old bone dissolves and new bone forms, a process that can become lopsided, especially in older women.

You’ll Stay Sharp

Sure, a binge will make you sloppy, but a drink a day doesn’t impair mental function—and may actually decrease cognitive decline over the years, according to data from the Nurses’ Health Study. “The protective effect lies in the increases in healthy HDL cholesterol, overall lowering of total cholesterol, and improvements in blood cell functioning,” Pace says. Additionally, alcohol triggers a breakdown in the formation of plaque—little clumps of sticky, abnormal tissue that naturally develop deep in your brain as the years go by. Research has found that moderate alcohol consumption decreases the formation of plaque associated with the progression of Alzheimer’s disease by as much as 90 percent in some regions of the brain. Whether or not Alzheimer’s runs in your family, a plaque-free brain is a smarter, faster brain.

You’ll Prevent Gallstones

Chances are, you haven’t given much thought to gallstones—the hardened deposits of digestive fluid. While a daily drink can reduce the chances of the little lumps calling your gallbladder home sweet home, infrequent alcohol intake (a drink or two a week) shows no real benefit, according to research published in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research. Since gallstones generally contain large amounts of cholesterol, it’s believed that alcohol prevents them by lowering overall cholesterol levels. What’s more, by helping you maintain a health body weight, alcohol can take a main risk factor for gallstones—obesity—out of the equation.

You’ll Avoid Arthritis

The top 25 percent of boozers are 40 to 50 percent less likely than their sober counterparts to develop rheumatoid arthritis, according to a recent Scandinavian review. Alcohol has also been linked to the prevention of osteoarthritis, reactive arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and spondyloarthropathy, according to European League Against Rheumatism. Again, alcohol’s anti-inflammatory properties may be at play here.

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