Are You Drinking Whiskey Every Day?

Glass with drink and splash low poly

In the original Scottish Gaelic, whisky means ‘water of life’ debated to be thanks to its ability to take the edge off tough living conditions at the time.

Although many people believe it helps with anything from feeling cold to cancer, there is some debate over whether drinking whisky every day is bad for you or not.

The answer lies in a few factors. You might find a few things lurking in the daily whisky that you didn’t know about.

Is Whisky Bad for You?

Heart Health

Although there are many, who say that whisky drinking is linked to improved heart health, the connection is questionable.

Studies show that moderate drinkers enjoy better health generally. The link has not been found, though. Most scientists suspect it may be that those who can control their drinking also moderate other indulgences.

For example, strong self-control in drinking, food and exercise are likely to be linked.

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Is Whisky Good for Colds and Flu?

One of the most famous drinks for a cold a ‘hot toddy’ includes whisky. This drink originated in India, where whisky was mixed with a range of spices, sugar and warm water.

There is science behind why a hot toddy makes you feel better when you have a cold.

The good news is that it dilates our blood vessels which can help relieve congestion and help combat infection. This is only good if you don’t have any issues with blood pressure or your heart; dilation can raise blood pressure to dangerous levels.

It also works as a slight painkiller, although over-the-counter medication such as paracetamol or ibuprofen is better for your health than whisky.

Dehydration is also an issue. Colds and flu can leave you short on fluids. This gives you a headache and a general feeling of lethargy. Whisky dehydrates you further, making it an uphill battle for your body.

While whisky might make you feel better when you have a cold that doesn’t mean it makes you better.

rules of healthy sleep infographic

Whisky and Sleep

Drinking alcohol of any kind disrupts our sleep. It delays REM sleep which is the deep rest that makes us feel recovered.

Missing out on REM sleep when you are sick can set you back substantially. Even normally, drinking every day adds to sleep debt and leads us to be chronically tired.

Antioxidants in Whiskey

Whisky has a reputation for health benefits, but how realistic are these?

Antioxidants are often touted by wine and whiskey lovers as beneficial to health. Ellagic acid is thought to reduce cancer risk.

Many people neglect to mention that these antioxidants can be easily found from far healthier sources. Nuts and berries, and some other fruits contain this antioxidant without the damaging effects of alcohol.

Weight Loss

Alcohol is linked to obesity in adults. This is not only from the calories in alcohol itself but also from binge eating due to drinking.

One upside of choosing whisky over other alcoholic drinks is that it is low in carbohydrates and fats. This means that you are less prone to obesity than those who drink beer or wine, for example

Why are Whisky Hangovers So Bad?

Not all hangovers are created the same. You might have experienced a painful morning after drinking wine but feel better with spirits.

Whisky, unfortunately contains congeners in large amounts. These are big contributors to hangovers. By competing with ethanol to be broken down, congeners make hangovers much worse.

The Problem With Drinking Whisky Every Day

With arguments for health and harm on both sides for drinking whisky as a drink, there is no debate on drinking every day.

Not giving your body time to recover from the damage of alcohol is bad for your health.

Between a lack of sleep, lower mood-enhancing chemicals in the brain and strain on your liver, your body needs alcohol-free days.

Moderation means different things to different people, but drinking every day suggests that you cannot stop.

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Sources Alcohol Consumption and Obesity: An Update