Are you boozewise?

Can you match the boys pint for pint in the drinking stakes? Are you lucky enough not to suffer from hangovers after a heavy night? You may not think your personal life will be affected by routine heavy drinking.

Britons have a very different relationship with alcohol than the rest of Europe. In Italy, they may sip a glass of red wine with a meal; in Britain we knock back our fifth pint with a bag of pork scratchings. In France, it is generally frowned upon for a woman to drink as much as a man; in Britain, she will be revered as a good-time girl who can hold her drink. It’s simply an indication of increasing equality at work and play. An increase in earnings over the last 30 years, plus a later marrying age, mean we have less financial responsibilities and more choice on what to spend our money on. But keeping up with the boys has greater consequences for women – not only does it make us socially vulnerable, it has greater effects on our short and long-term health.

For example, the smaller the person, the more alcohol is likely to affect them. Because women tend to be smaller than men, it takes less alcohol for a woman to get drunk. Also, a woman''s body contains less water and more fatty tissue – which increases alcohol absorption compared to a male body.

Not seeing the downside so far? Understandable. If fewer drinks are needed to get drunk, that means more cash in your purse by closing time. But the greater the effect on sobriety, the greater the effect on your health. Alcohol is high in calories and can reduce the effectiveness of your metabolism, leading to excessive weight gain. So an evening in the pub after work can equate to an extra meal, setting you back an hour on the treadmill.

Unplanned sex

Drinking to excess also increases a woman’s likelihood of unplanned and unsafe sex, or sexual assault. Because you have less control of your actions, you are less able to defend yourself should an assault occur. Around 50% of rape victims had been under the influence of alcohol, as were over 50% of men convicted of an attack. Because the memory is usually impaired after binge drinking, incidences that involve alcohol are much harder to prove in court.

For better or worse, the days of women modestly sipping a Babycham are well and truly over. But with more economic and social freedom to drink, so comes more responsibility. Be careful with regular heavy drinking – particularly if you are driving, or travelling home alone. Be aware of how much you’ve had, and your personal limit. A bit of booze-wisdom now will pay dividends on your long-term health.

Women and drinking: The facts

  • Women who have multiple roles (ie – mother, wife, employee) are less likely to develop a drinking habit. Women who have recently lost one of their roles – for example, through bereavement or redundancy – have an increased rate of alcoholism.
  • Painful menstruation, heavy flow, discomfort and irregular cycles can be attributed to excessive drinking. Other adverse effects include early menopause and fertility problems.
  • Alcohol abuse can affect the heart and lungs – interfering with cardio-respiratory fitness.
  • It can also damage the immune system – making you more susceptible to infection, and increasing recovery times for injuries.
  • Binge drinkers are more likely to develop heart disease and hardening of the arteries than moderate drinkers.

If you’re concerned about alcoholism and would like advice for you or someone you know, visit these websites:

Courtesy of Fitness Professionals UK

Related products

Shock Absorber B109

Ultra Daily Detox

Multi Vit/Min/Elec

Bookmark and Share

Latest health and fitness news

All news stories

Latest quizzes and tests

All quizzes & tests

Diet & Weight Loss Fitness & Exercise Healthy Living Leisure Jobs UK Reviews Useful Tools

Diets A - Z
Diet planners
Exercise nutrition
Healthy eating
Weight management

Celebrity workouts
Exercise library
Fitness testing
Kids fitness
Health clubs
Personal training
Sports injury

General health
Health spas
Men's health
Women's health

Choosing a job
Job resources
Job search
Training courses

Elite health clubs
Ladies only gyms
Leisure centres
Health clubs
Hotel health clubs
Independent health clubs
Spa breaks

Diet planners
Exercise videos
Online personal training
Web chats TV
Keep in touch with Fitness Venues at
& Twitter

Home | Advertise | Search by business | Search by county | Local Search | Contact us | What's new? | Site map

About us | Terms & Conditions | Privacy Policy | Our partners


Copyright 2006 - 2014 is the UK's leading health, fitness and exercise guide, allowing you to find health clubs, gyms, personal trainers and more.

Find your local ... Exercise classes | Gyms | Health clubs | Health spas | Personal Trainers | Fitness Trainers | Health clubs by town