Wine Alcohol Heart Health

How Much Wine is Too Much?

Drinking a bottle of wine a day can feel like a lot, but three large glasses are enough to empty one, leaving you wondering if you are drinking too much.

Wine is one of the most popular drinks in the UK, with 75% of adults preferring it over other drinks. Almost half of these drink a few glasses every week.

But what if that number creeps up until it’s a bottle a day? Does that mean you have a problem?

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Isn’t Wine Good for You?

It might sound like an old wife’s tale we choose to believe, but there is something to the idea that drinking a small amount of wine is good for your heart.

There is some evidence that a very small amount (no more than one drink a day) may decrease the rate of heart disease in people over the age of 65. Under this age, there is no evidence of improved heart health.

These results come from numerous studies over the years. Many scientists believe that it is the general lifestyle of wine drinkers that leads to improved health.

The Lancet Study on Alcohol Consumption

The longest and biggest study on alcohol by The Lancet became famous overnight after claiming no alcohol amount is safe or good for you.

The study spanned 195 countries and 26 years of research. The conclusion was clear: drinking no alcohol was the only safe amount.

Is a Bottle of Wine a Day Too Much?

Whether you believe the outright abstinence of the Lancet or the UK government recommended 14 units of alcohol a week – a bottle of wine a day is too many units.

A bottle of wine usually contains 10 units of alcohol. That means your weekly intake is 70 units if you drink a bottle of wine a day. That is 56 units over the safe recommended limit.

Graph Alcoholic Drinks Mortality

The J Curve

A bottle of wine contains about 7 standard drinks (125ml). The J Curve is a well-known result in drinking research.

Scientists find that the health results dip at first up to one drink a day. After that, they increase significantly with every drink you add.

The idea is that a very small number of drinks doesn’t show health issues. Drinking over one or two is dangerous.

A bottle of wine a day puts you on the far end of the chart with a high risk to your health and longevity.

Am I an Alcoholic if I drink a Bottle of Wine a Day?

Drinking a bottle of wine is certainly cause for concern then, but does it mean you are an alcoholic?

Lots of people who drink too much wonder, ‘Am I an alcoholic?’. Is there a line where you are addicted to alcohol and not just drinking too much?

The only way to answer this question is simple: stop drinking.

Alcoholics find it extremely difficult to stop drinking. If you find you can go weeks, even months, without drinking without any side effects or cravings, you may be in the clear.

If you start to experience withdrawal, think endlessly about alcohol or worse, cannot manage to stop, then this suggests you might have an alcohol addiction.

If you want help with cutting down or stopping drinking, Desistal can support you. It helps to restore your health and manage cravings and the mental health effects of drinking too much.

calories in wine infographic

What About the Calories in a Bottle of Wine?

The impact of alcohol isn’t the only health issue with finishing the bottle every day. Wine is also one of the sugary and calorie-heavy drinks out there.

A bottle of red comes in at 600-700 calories, and white isn’t far behind at 500-600. This is the same as most people’s dinner, with much fewer nutritional benefits.

A Bottle of Wine a Day and Your Liver

Most of us are aware of the work our liver does to deal with the alcohol we drink. It converts ethanol (alcohol) into the enzyme acetaldehyde. Every time your liver does this, some of the cells in your liver die.

Don’t worry. As long as you drink only a small amount or stop drinking, your liver can grow new cells.

The problem with drinking a bottle of wine a day or more for years can reduce the liver’s ability to grow these cells. This means your liver is damaged and cannot recover.

Drinking more than four units of alcohol per day gives you a 90% chance of developing alcohol-related liver disease.

As we looked at above – a bottle of wine contains just under double this amount.

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Cutting Down on Wine

However you started drinking a bottle of wine every day, you should stop as soon as you can. The risk to your mental and physical health is serious. There are lots of ways to cut down on or stop drinking.

  • Take up a new activity or hobby
  • Try a dry month
  • Moderate by buying one miniature instead of a full bottle
  • Seek counselling if you can’t stop drinking
  • Use supplements to support your physical health