5 Ways Drinking Alcohol Can Age You Faster
While moderate drinking (that’s one daily drink for women and less than two for men) is linked to better health outcomes, heavy or binge drinking is undoubtedly harmful to us. Let’s take a look at five ways drinking excess alcohol can age you faster.
1. Alcohol Ages Your Skin
Alcohol is dehydrating — you probably know this if you’ve ever woken up in the morning with extreme thirst after a night out. However, it doesn’t just make us thirsty; it also dehydrates and ages our skin. This can cause fine lines and wrinkles to show up earlier than they would if you didn’t drink.
2. Alcohol Weakens Your Liver
Because alcohol is a toxic substance, our liver works as hard as it can to eliminate the alcohol byproducts from our bodies. Over time, the liver can weaken from all of this work, leading to fat buildup in the liver, cirrhosis, or liver failure.
3. Alcohol Can Damage Your Brain
Drinking too much alcohol can increase your risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, as alcohol is linked to shrinkage of brain volume over time. Lower brain volume is a driver of memory loss and cognitive decline — a common symptom of older age.
4. Alcohol Can Cause Weight Gain
With each drink containing about 150 calories (more if it has a sugary mixer), this can rapidly add up if you’re drinking often. Plus, drinking alcohol reduces your body’s ability to burn fat and increases inflammation, which is often seen in older adults.
5. Alcohol Can Cause Poor Sleep
Although you may think alcohol helps you sleep, it actually disrupts your sleep in the long run because you don’t go through all the necessary cycles that make you feel rested. Getting enough sleep is a crucial part of both looking and feeling younger, and drinking too much alcohol can get in the way — it’s called ‘beauty sleep’ for a reason!