When it comes to consuming alcohol responsibly, your sex matters!
Did you know the female body is more sensitive to alcohol? Here’s why:
- Women generally weigh less than men, therefore they have a tendency to reach higher blood alcohol concentration. This means that if a man and woman both drank equals amounts of alcohol, the woman would have more alcohol concentration in her body.
- Women generally have more fatty tissue and less water than men, which allows alcohol to be absorbed slowly and, thus, it takes longer for the effects to wear off.
- Unlike men, women have less of a particular enzyme called dehydrogenase that helps break down alcohol, therefore the alcohol stays longer in their bodies.
Know the Risks
The long-term health risks of alcohol consumption also differ monumentally between men and women. For example, at even one drink per day on average, a woman’s risk of getting liver cirrhosis increases by 139 per cent compared with 26 per cent for males. Women also have an increased chance of developing a number of illnesses when they exceed they exceed low-risk drinking guidelines, including:
- alcohol related heart disease
- alcoholic hepatitis
- certain cancers, especially breast cancer.
Alcohol and Pregnancy
It is safest for women not to drink any alcohol when pregnant, planning to become pregnant or planning to breastfeed! There is no known safe level of alcohol use during pregnancy and exposing an infant to alcohol through breast milk can result in sedation and motor skills impairment in the child.
Low-Risk Tips for Women
- If you choose to drink, consume no more than 10 standard drinks a week and no more than one or two drinks a day, most days.
- Consume no more than three standard drinks on a single occasion.
- Your daily and weekly alcohol limits are lower if you have a history of alcohol-related chronic disease.
Other Ways to Lower Your Risk
- Plan at least two non-drinking days every week to avoid developing a habit.
- Set limits for yourself and stick to them.
- Drink slowly; no more than two standard drinks in any three hours.
- For every drink of alcohol, have one alcohol-free drink.
- Eat before, and when you drink.
- Your age, body weight and health problems may suggest lower limits.