Gender Inequality is Reality When It Comes to Drinking Alcohol
An increasing number of women enjoy an evening drink to help them unwind. But women should know that they cannot drink the same amount of alcohol as men without risking physical harm.
It’s partly a matter of body mass. Men tend to be larger and have more muscle mass which can aid in their ability to metabolize alcohol. But men and women of equal weight and height still experience differing effects.
To start with, women have 10 percent greater body fat compared to men. That means that their ability to metabolize alcohol is less efficient. Hormone fluctuations can also impact a woman’s ability to process alcohol. Even male and female livers differ. The liver is the body’s chief filtration device, but female livers do not secrete an equal amount of the metabolizing enzymes as male livers.
Women become intoxicated more rapidly and take longer for alcohol to pass from their system. This is why government-recommended drinking guidelines are different for men and women. Guidelines suggest just one drink each day for women and not more than two for men. This winds up as a relative equivalent since a single drink affects women twice as much as one drink does a man.
Here’s just some of the risks that women drinkers face:
- Complexion – It dries the skin and robs it of key nutrients, dilates blood vessels, can leave spidery trails on the face and deprives skin of its healthful luster.
- Weight Gain – Alcohol works against calorie-counting. Ounce for ounce, alcohol is higher in calories than many of the foods you eat. Drinking will make you feel hungry, and will lessen self-control, making it more likely that you will consume more empty calories.
- Cancer – Drinking puts you in a higher health risk category. Women who have as few as three drinks each week have a 15 percent greater chance of developing breast cancer. And for every drink beyond three, the risk goes up another 10 percent.
- Menstruation – Regular drinking has been shown to negatively impact women’s monthly cycles. It could worsen monthly discomfort, or it may cause women to miss monthly periods.
- Pregnancy – Ladies who enjoy five plus drinks in a week have more trouble becoming pregnant.
- Liver Disease – This is a common risk for all drinkers, but for women the risk is even greater since their livers don’t process as efficiently as men’s.