Are Low Alcohol Drinks Good for Alcohol Flushing? September 09 2014

It may be stating the obvious, but if you try to moderate your drinking it invariably means that you’re trying to drink less. What you’re trying to drink less of isn’t grape juice or hops or barley: it’s alcohol. It’s really the only thing that matters in that equation. 

You have different strategies for drinking less. You can simply swap out alcohol at social functions for something else – coffee, soda, whatever – or you can reduce the amount that you’re drinking. These are the most common options that people are likely to take.

Low alcohol drinks are another option and they may help you to keep your flushing under control a bit, particularly if you don’t tend to start flushing very quickly after drinking.

How it Works

Flushing is specifically caused by a genetic trait that makes it difficult for your body to break alcohol down through the various stages involved in metabolizing it fully. The alcohol never gets any further than being broken down into acetaldehyde and, because of that, you get a buildup of that chemical in your blood. That’s what causes the Alcohol Flushing, and that’s not all it causes. It can cause an increased heart rate, it can make you feel very hot and, of course, all of that comes with some potential social effects, as well. You might notice people trying very hard not to point out the fact that your face is roughly the color of a stop sign. 

You might also have people asking you if something’s wrong, which can get annoying.

Some people react like this almost immediately. They may have a quarter of a drink or a half a drink and will start flushing noticeably. Other people don’t flush so quickly. If you’re one of the latter, drinking low alcohol drinks might help you keep down the amount of alcohol in your body while still enjoying the social ritual of having a drink with friends.

Be Careful

Remember that lowered alcohol drinks still have alcohol in them. If you drink enough of them, you will get just as intoxicated as you would off of fewer full strength drinks. There’s really no recommended amount that people drink during a day and, in fact, health experts don’t recommend drinking for health reasons under any circumstances. However, if you know that the alcohol is a problem for your body, it makes sense to simply reduce the amount that you take in if having a drink with your friends or business associates is important to you.

Legal Stuff: We should remind everyone that our blog entries are for your information only and are not intended as medical advice. If you’re going to drink, do it legally and responsibly; don’t be stupid =).