Gulping down a drink or two each night to deal with the loneliness of lockdown might not be a good idea, because alcohol consumption is injurious to your immune system.
We as global citizens have never had this much free time on our hands. Think about it: when was the last time you spent a month working from home, saving time on the commute, without any social events crowding your calendar?
While this altered pace of life does come with its fair share of mental health challenges, many of us are using this time in lockdown to do the things we’ve always wanted to. But if some of your favourite things include staying close to that bottle of whisky, then we’ve got some disturbing news for you. Excessive alcohol consumption can take a severe toll on your immunity.
The relationship between alcohol consumption and your immune system is effed up
According to a 2015 study published in the journal Alcohol Research: Current Reviews excessive alcohol consumption disrupts immune pathways in the body, thus impairing your ability to fight off infections or recover from tissue injuries.
But that’s not all! Alcohol also increases your risk of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and pneumonia, both of which are caused by covid-19. So, excessive alcohol consumption can not only increase your susceptibility to catching a covid-19 infection, but also wound your body’s defenses against it.
However, according to a 2013 study from the Oregon Health & Science University, when consumed in moderation–alcohol can be beneficial for the body, particularly the immune system. When it comes to alcohol and immunity, who would have thought right?
So, how much alcohol is too much?
Well if you have a glass of wine or a pint of beer every night with your dinner, you don’t have much to worry about.
The American Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) says that anything over 8 drinks per week in women is considered heavy drinking.
This number goes upto 15 in men. The CDC categories one drink every day as moderate alcohol consumption.
Now, before you go ahead and pour yourself a Patiala peg, let us tell you: a standard drink is around 350 ml of beer, 145 ml of wine, and just 40 ml of distilled spirits like rum, gin, and whisky.
There are better ways to deal with lockdown blues than booze
We understand why alcohol can be your source of relief during this tedious time. The extended lockdown and the unwavering covid-19 pandemic is bound to rake up unpleasant feelings that are hard to deal with. And well, as harmful as it can be for your health, a drink can make you feel better even if momentarily.
But there are some other measures that can help you feel better more effectively than chaar-bottle vodka. For starters, meditating regularly can actually turn you into an optimist. Though it can take a few months for you to master and see the results.
While you’re acing that art, you can start working out. Just 30 minutes of hard exercise, like aerobics or dancing, can release feel-good hormones i.e endorphins that can give you a “high” for two to three hours, followed by a buzz that stays for a whopping 24 hours. That’s more than your Patiala peg can ever do!