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6 Ways Drinking Less Alcohol Improves Long-Term Health

Jan 10, 2024
6 Ways Drinking Less Alcohol Improves Long-Term Health
Are you ready to transform your health in the new year? A simple lifestyle change can make a big difference in your long-term health. Keep reading to learn six positive changes that happen when you drink less alcohol. 

Happy New Year from the team at Triad Internal Medicine in Asheboro, North Carolina! If you’re like many Americans, the new year is a time to make resolutions. And research shows that most adults focus their resolutions on healthy habits, like drinking less alcohol. 

Cutting back on alcohol can positively change many aspects of your life, including your health. If you’ve decided to make drinking less a focus in the new year, understanding the ways this decision improves your long-term health can go a long way toward helping you stick with it. 

For personalized information, meet with one of our primary care providers, who can give you specific information about your health and what can change when you imbibe less. In the meantime, keep reading to learn about six ways drinking less alcohol improves your overall health, now and in the years to come! 

1. Boosts your overall heart health

Alcohol affects your heart health in several ways. It can cause high blood pressure, irregular heart rhythms, and even damage to the heart muscle. 

Over time, cutting back on alcohol intake helps lower your blood pressure, reducing the strain on your heart. This change also leads to a more consistent heart rate and improved overall cardiovascular health, lowering your risk of heart disease and stroke.

2. Makes it easier to maintain a healthy weight

Alcohol is calorie-dense, and since they don’t provide nutritional benefits, they’re often called “empty calories.” Empty calories make it easier to gain weight and unhealthy fat stores. 

Reducing alcohol can significantly reduce your calorie intake, which can lead to weight loss. Drinking less also helps improve your metabolism and the way your body stores and uses fat, leading to better long-term weight management and overall health.

3. Lowers your risk of many cancers

Regular alcohol consumption is associated with an increased risk of several types of cancer, including breast, liver, colon, and throat cancer. Researchers believe this is related to several factors, including the way alcohol can damage DNA in cells, affect hormone levels, and increase inflammation. 

By drinking less, you're helping your body protect itself from these risks. Over time, this can lead to a significantly lower chance of developing alcohol-related cancers, giving you a better chance at a healthier life.

4. Gain more energy

Alcohol can disrupt your sleep patterns and prevent you from getting deep, restful sleep. It also taxes your liver and other organs, which can leave you feeling tired and sluggish. When this happens, it can be hard to get through your day and even more difficult to exercise.  

Cutting back on alcohol can lead to more restorative sleep and less strain on your body, giving you higher energy levels throughout the day. As a result, you’ll find it easier to take on your daily tasks and engage in physical activities. 

5. Improved cognitive performance

Alcohol can have a detrimental effect on your brain, negatively impacting memory and cognitive function. This is because alcohol interferes with neurotransmitters, which are essential for clear thinking and memory.

By drinking less, you're giving your brain a chance to function at its best. Over time, this leads to improved memory, better problem-solving skills, and clearer thinking, essential for both personal and professional success.

6. Boosted immunity for long-term health

Alcohol weakens your immune system by disrupting the balance of immune cells and hindering your body's ability to fight off germs. Having a weaker immune system makes you more susceptible to infections and makes recovering from illness more difficult.

By drinking less, you're helping your immune system to function more effectively. This means a stronger defense against illnesses and faster recovery when you do get sick, which is key for long-term health. 

For more information about the benefits of reducing your alcohol intake, schedule an appointment online or over the phone with a board-certified provider at Triad Internal Medicine in Asheboro, North Carolina.