A glass of wine or pre-dinner aperitif may signal the start of a relaxing evening after a long day at work. Research suggesting that moderate drinking may have health benefits, including decreasing the risk of heart disease, adds to the appeal of enjoying a drink. Moderate consumption of alcohol is currently defined as up to one drink for women and two drinks for men. While drinking can provide an atmosphere of relaxation and camaraderie with friends, drinking too much alcohol may prematurely age you. The following are 11 ways that alcohol affects your health and can leave you looking and feeling older than you are.
11. Alcohol Is Dehydrating
One reason a night of heavy drinking is followed by the headache of a hangover is due to the dehydrating effects of alcohol on your body. Research suggests that alcohol causes you to lose water stores by either speeding up the production of urine or decreasing the production of antidiuretic hormones. Whatever the cause, drinking too much alcohol deprives your cells and body tissues of the water necessary to carry out normal functions. Dehydration contributes to dry skin, mental confusion, and sluggish performance. Not exactly the picture of youth and vitality!
10. It Makes You Look Older
The diuretic effects of alcohol divert water away from your skin in order to provide your organs with the highest possible levels of hydration. This can leave your skin looking dry, wrinkled, and saggy. In addition to drying out your skin, alcohol abuse can damage the capillaries in your face, making it appear red and blotchy. The facial puffiness and bloating associated with sugary, high-calorie drinks also contribute to the appearance of premature aging. Nix the extra drinks and pamper your skin with clean, pure water to retain a youthful glow.