Purim may have you in a food-prep frenzy, but this is one day when it may be the bottles rather than the edibles that enjoy the attention. In honor of Purim, let’s uncover the truth about drinking!
- Drinking alcohol is bad for you
Drinking some alcohol appears to offer more health benefits than drinking none at all. Numerous studies have shown that while heavy drinking is associated with serious health problems and an increased risk of death, light-to-moderate alcohol use (1 drink a day for women and 1-2 drinks a day for men) actually reduces the development of heart disease. A U-shaped curve is often used to describe the relationship between alcohol use and mortality, where the risk is lowest with moderate use. Interestingly, while antioxidant-rich red wine will give you additional health benefits, ALL types of alcohol are associated with a lower risk of heart disease. However, because overdoing it can be so dangerous, you’re not advised to start having a daily drink if you aren’t having it already. Let’s put it this way – the American Heart Association is not recommending drinking alcohol as a preventative measure. Protecting your heart through a healthy diet and exercise is still your best bet.
- Drinking coffee causes dehydration
For years, we’ve been told that alcohol and caffeinated beverages don’t count towards your daily fluid intake because caffeine is a diuretic (meaning it will cause your body to lose fluid). But new research claims that drinking coffee and tea in moderate amounts does not appear to affect hydration status. Caffeine itself may be a diuretic, but your cup of coffee or tea is filled with water, too, and that fluid is enough to offset the effect of the caffeine. A recent study involving 50 men who drank three to six cups of coffee daily showed that coffee seemed to hydrate them just as well as water. Apparently, when caffeine is consumed regularly, the body can adapt.
- Drinking water will flush out fat
Drinking water may help with weight loss because sometimes people confuse hunger and thirst and choose to eat when they’re actually thirsty. Eating in the absence of true hunger may cause you to consume extra calories, so learning to drink when you are thirsty instead of choosing to eat can help you maintain a healthy weight. But no, water does not “flush out fat.” Fat is lost when the body uses it as a source of fuel when caloric intake is not high enough to meet its energy needs, and this process works just fine without the “help” of extra water.