Our body is a more complicated system than you can imagine. And the consequences of anything we put into it (for example, by eating or drinking) are hardly ever limited to a single one. Take, for example, alcoholic beverages. Recent research, published in the journal Circulation, looks at the short-term as well as the long-term impact of one alcoholic drink on our cardiovascular system. And it found that there’s a major difference between the two.
The effects of one alcoholic drink on your judgment and balance – your brain in general – are low. Depending on the drink, it will most likely make you tipsy, or not even that. But when it comes to your cardiovascular system, it appears that there’s a correlation between alcohol and the raising risk of heart issues. At least for a few hours, after which it protects your cardiovascular system.
As shown by the study, moderate drinking has different effects in the short term – within hours – and the long run. “Drinking smaller amounts has different effects in the subsequent hours than it does in the subsequent days and weeks,” Elizabeth Mostofsky, Sc.D., instructor, Harvard School of Public Health, told HealthDay News. Apparently, the same alcoholic drink that raises your risk of having heart trouble in the first few hours after drinking it might protect you from it in the long run.
According to the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, moderate drinking is up to one alcoholic drink a day for women, and up to two for men. “One alcoholic drink” means a 12-ounce (350ml) beer, 5 ounces (150ml) of wine, or 1.5 ounces (45ml) of distilled spirits.
One alcoholic drink causes the blood pressure to rise, increases heart rate, and may interfere with the heart’s normal rhythm. Besides, it causes the blood platelets (the elements in our blood that aid clotting) to become stickier. These two effects increase the risk of a heart attack or stroke.
But after 24 hours, the same “one alcoholic drink” has been shown to improve blood flow, the lining and functioning of blood vessels, and reduced clotting, the study shows.