The benefits and harms of alcohol: why you want to drink

Everyone knows that alcoholic beverages are harmful and their abuse provokes the development of numerous pathologies.

But research by scientists shows that drinking alcohol in moderation can have a beneficial effect on the physical and mental state of a person.

The bartender pours beer into a glass

Does the body need alcohol?

The human body is capable of producing alcohol on its own. It is called endogenous and mainly the intestines and liver are involved in its production. The production rate is 8-10 g per day. Alcohol regulates the functioning of the nervous system, participates in the production of endorphins, takes part in the transmission of nerve impulses, forming a natural psychological defense. In addition, the synthesized ethanol increases the energy potential and stimulates metabolic processes.

The positive effect of endogenous alcohol on the human body is obvious. But numerous experiments conducted by scientists prove that alcoholic beverages coming from outside can be beneficial.

Scientists' Opinion

The beneficial properties of alcohol is a hot topic that still attracts the interest of scientists in many countries. They conduct a variety of studies, during which they study the effect of alcohol on various systems of the human body.

Doctors from France concluded that alcoholic beverages normalize the activity of the cardiovascular system. American experts have found that older people who sometimes allow themselves a little alcohol are much less likely to experience such a frequent age-related phenomenon as decreased brain activity.

A forty-year experiment was conducted in Holland, during which more than 1300 people were observed. As a result, it was concluded that those who consumed alcohol in reasonable doses throughout their lives had a longer life expectancy and a lower mortality rate from heart disease.

However, there is another opinion based on the fact that all the obtained data are nothing more than an error of statistical calculations, and in fact alcohol is harmful even in small doses.

What is Low and Tolerable Dose?

All scientists agree that the benefits of alcohol are manifested only in small doses. But the norms in different parts of the world vary. So, in the UK, the allowable dose is 8 ml of pure alcohol per day (this is approximately 18 ml of strong alcohol or 40 ml of wine), in the USA the norm is 14 ml, and in Japan - 20.

However, it is strongly discouraged to drink alcohol every day. The optimal frequency is 2-3 times a week.

In addition, there is a maximum allowable dose, that is, the amount of alcohol that the human body is able to process. The indicator depends on many factors, including gender, weight, health status. For example, a healthy man weighing 70 kg can drink 170 g of pure alcohol (about 0. 5 liters of vodka) per day. Subject to continued abstinence from alcohol for at least 8 days, the body will recover from the negative effects of ethanol.

Small doses of alcohol

What are the benefits of alcohol in small doses?

The benefits of alcohol are primarily in the prevention of various diseases. So alcohol in small quantities:

  • reduces the risk of developing cardiovascular disease;
  • reduces the likelihood of ischemic stroke;
  • reduces the risk of developing diabetes.

Important!It is important to remember that, firstly, the benefits of alcohol are just one of the existing opinions, which not all experts adhere to. And secondly, in any case, one cannot rely on the medicinal properties of alcohol and use it as a medicine for existing pathologies.

What makes alcohol harmful?

The benefits and harms of any product, including alcohol, are determined by its chemical composition. Alcoholic beverages are harmful primarily because of ethyl alcohol, which is present in absolutely all alcoholic beverages. The greatest danger is not even the ethanol itself, but the poisonous products of its processing, in particular acetaldehyde, which, spreading throughout the body, negatively affects all its systems.

In addition, alcohol can be harmful due to:

  • various chemical additives (intensifiers of taste and aroma, preservatives, dyes);
  • large amounts of carbon dioxide in carbonated drinks;
  • fusel oils present in low-quality drinks and counterfeits.

And, of course, the harm increases as the dose you drink increases.

Reasons why you want to drink

There are many explanations for why you want to drink a little alcohol from time to time. Among them are the need to relax and forget about problems for a while, the desire to support the company, the desire to be liberated, to become more sociable. Naturally, now we are talking about those who drink from time to time, observing the measure, and not about people with alcohol dependence.

But in addition to the listed psychological reasons, there are other explanations for the sometimes arising need for alcohol. Most often this is due to a lack of any substances in the body.

If a person wants to drink alcohol, he does not need to do it, sometimes it is enough to know what to eat or drink to get the body what it needs.

Cravings for alcohol

What if the cravings get nearly overwhelming?

If you have a persistent desire to drink, you can of course take a small dose, but it is hardly worth drinking alcohol every time in such a situation. The best solution is to undergo a medical examination to understand what is causing your strong craving for alcohol.

Interim measures can be as follows:

  • replace alcohol with other drinks (kvass, natural juices, milk, green tea);
  • eat something (red meat, honey, salted cheese, cottage cheese, nuts or seeds, egg dishes).

Communication with family and friends, household chores, sports, an interesting activity, reading, a walk will help to distract from the thoughts of drinking. If the craving for alcohol persists, it is worth visiting a therapist for professional advice.

What is lacking in your body if you want to drink?

Often people develop an inexplicable craving for products with certain tastes at first glance. Various nutritional anomalies in pregnant women are very popular. For example, many of them are partial to chalk. This is due to changes occurring in the body and causing a deficiency of certain substances. A similar situation is when you want alcohol - most likely something is missing in your body.

The most common are:

  • deficiency of B vitamins;
  • lack of iron;
  • silicon shortage;
  • lack of protein (the most common explanation if you want vodka);
  • micronutrient deficiencies (calcium, potassium, sodium).

Having determined which vitamins or minerals are lacking, you should supplement your diet with them by adding products or vitamin complexes containing them.

Beer alcoholism

Can alcoholism develop from daily low-dose consumption?

It is very important to remember that the habit of drinking alcohol, even in small quantities, over time can lead to the development of psychological. And it does not depend on the strength of the drink, on the contrary, seemingly harmless low-alcohol beer is addictive faster than spirits.

The need for alcohol will gradually increase, the doses will begin to rise, as will the frequency of drinking. The body will adapt to the regular intake of ethanol, will include it in metabolic processes, which will lead to physical dependence, which is very difficult to get rid of.

Can high-quality alcohol be harmful to health?

Any alcoholic beverage contains ethanol and is therefore a potential health hazard. But drinking high-quality alcohol, if not healthy, is certainly less harmful. This is primarily due to the lack of fusel oils, which are found in excess in low-grade drinks. Also, less negative impact is due to the low concentration of preservatives and various artificial additives.

So you can minimize the toxic effect of alcohol on the body by consuming premium drinks from a trusted manufacturer in small dosages.

Drinking culture

The culture of drinking alcoholic beverages has a direct impact on the consequences of drinking alcohol for the human body, since it requires a reasonable approach to both the choice of alcohol and the process of consumption. Regulations are enforced that, among other things, help reduce the negative effects of ethanol. These include, for example, drinking small amounts of alcohol.


Wine is credited with the most beneficial properties of any alcoholic beverage. According to the rules, the drink is drunk a little, enjoying the aroma and multifaceted taste. A must-have snack, which is chosen based on the type of drink.


Real live beer is healthy due to its high content of vitamins and minerals. Beer should be drunk slightly chilled, without rushing. Spicy and salty snacks should be preferred dried fish or meat, cheese, seafood, nuts. It is not recommended to mix beer with other alcohol.


High-quality cognac is also referred to as healthy alcoholic beverages. The conditions under which this elite alcohol is drunk are very important. They help you get the most out of the exquisite aroma and rich taste of the drink.

Cognac should be at room temperature. They drink it in small sips. The classic serving option is after the main meal with a cup of coffee and a cigar. It is believed that cognac does not require a snack, but if you wish, you can serve fresh fruits and nuts with it.

Risks of drinking alcohol

Regular alcohol consumption in most cases leads to alcoholism, which in turn causes numerous diseases. Absolutely any organ or system can be affected, but most often develop:

  • diseases of the liver (hepatitis, cirrhosis) and excretory system;
  • cardiovascular diseases (cardiomyopathy, heart attack);
  • brain disorders;
  • gastrointestinal diseases (gastritis, ulcer, pancreatitis);
  • pathology of the reproductive system;
  • mental and neurological disorders.

Ethanol also increases the risk of developing neoplasms.

If the body requires alcohol, this is an alarming symptom, indicating that a bad habit has turned into a chronic disease.


Drinking can actually be beneficial. But you should not use alcohol as a medicine in case of existing diseases. The main thing is to choose high-quality alcohol, not to overdo it with the frequency of intake and remember to observe the dosage in order to avoid negative consequences.