Almost everybody loves drinking. Whether it’s having a beer after a cold day, or a glass of wine while cooking, drinking is one unwinding tactic shared by many adults across the US. However, it’s easy for one glass to become five when you are not paying attention to your drinking.
And for women, keeping track of their drinks is more important than you’d think.
In this article, we’ll discuss the importance of keeping track of your drinking, particularly for women, as well as the benefits of doing so.
How Alcohol Affects Women
Several similarities exist between the effects that alcohol has on men and women, but there are also some important differences.
When a man and a woman drink the same amount of alcohol, her blood alcohol level will almost always be higher than his. This is due to a number of factors:
- The average woman is smaller than the average man. As a result, the same amount of alcohol is going into a smaller body.
- Even when a man and a woman of the same height drink the same amount of alcohol, her blood alcohol level will still be higher. The body stores alcohol in body water, not in fat. The percentage of body fat in women is generally higher than in men, so there is less body water in them. As a result, the alcohol is more concentrated.
- Furthermore, the stomach may break down some alcohol before it reaches the bloodstream. Women who drink a lot of alcohol are less likely to experience this. This may be due to women producing fewer amounts of the enzyme alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH), which breaks down alcohol in the liver.
Drinking alcohol can also affect a woman’s hormone levels, her libido, her fertility, as well as increase her cancer risk. Furthermore, women who binge drink are more at risk of sexual violence.
These are only a few examples of the ways that alcohol affects women specifically, but that’s not including the general effects that alcohol has on both men and women. Cognitive decline, liver diseases, and increased risk of damage to the heart are other health dangers that anyone should watch out for when drinking.
Why Women Should Track Their Drinking
Alcohol has always had its drawbacks, but with the disproportionately higher risks for women it becomes increasingly important to keep track of how much you are drinking.
Even if you don’t particularly care about some of the negative effects of drinking, you should be aware of the net positives that come from increased awareness of your drinking.
You’ll become more aware of your drinking habits
As we drink and feel good, it’s easy to slip a bit, like pouring a larger drink, drinking an alcohol-heavy beer, or having “just one more”. When you track your drinks, you’ll get a better idea of how much you drink, which can help you decide whether or not you’d like to change your habits. As a result, you can establish a baseline from which to work.
You’ll pace your drinking better
By tracking your drinks in real-time (which we highly recommend), you’ll notice that just the act of doing so will give you time to pause and consider whether you actually want the next drink. Alternatively, you might try rotating in some water or ordering a non-alcoholic cocktail.
Planning ahead will become easier for you
When you record your drinks, you can use them as a guide to determine how much alcohol you might want to consume in the future. With a better understanding of how alcohol impacts you at different quantities, you’ll be able to plan and optimize your days so that you feel your best the following morning. If you don’t know where to start, consider downloading an alcohol tracker, such as Sunnyside’s app to help you keep track of your alcohol consumption.
You’ll gain a better understanding of why you drink
Keeping track of your drinks helps you think about why you had the drinks you had, and whether they were really what you wanted. When you are aware that we sometimes drink out of habit or ritual, you can cut back if you wish to do so. Maybe even participate in events like Dry January.
You’ll feel empowered
Tracking your drinks helps you feel empowered to make changes, and accountable to being the healthiest and happiest version of yourself. Drinking goals are personal and vary from person to person. By tracking your drinks, you will be able to identify your own goals and make changes that will benefit you.
The unfortunate truth is that alcohol affects women much more than it does men. Your drinking habits could lead to a higher risk of cancer, hormonal imbalances, and other health issues that you’d be much better off not worrying about. If you don’t want to give up on drinking entirely, tracking your drinking can help. By tracking your drinks, you’ll be more aware of how much alcohol you really are consuming, and it’ll be easier to work on your drinking habits.