Big Surprise: What Age Does Our Alcohol Consumption Peak?

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Most people associate an age-related life crisis with middle-age, but all the uproar and uncertainty of our 20s can apparently do a number as well. In fact, a new study found that peak alcohol consumption takes place at the tender age of 25…before continuing to nosedive throughout the rest of your life.

Is this the New Golden Age?

The comprehensive findings, published in BMC Medicine, focused on data from 174,000 alcohol observations that were collected between the years of 1979 and 2013. Researchers found that a person’s alcohol consumption continues to decline until they reach middle-age, where it hits a plateau before continuing declining again in older age.

However, middle-aged men are the most consistent drinkers, with many participants admitting to having at least one drink daily. The same didn’t apply to women of the same age, however. They reported drinking alcohol only on a monthly basis.

What’s in a Drink?

You can find countless studies suggesting that drinking one glass of wine per day can help to prevent dementia and cancer, slow the aging process or even regulate blood sugar, but there’s no getting around the fact that there are a number of definite dangers and drawbacks with long-term consumption of small amounts of alcohol.

Recent studies have shown that light drinking can increase the risk of both mouth and breast cancer. And if you’ve ever had a sleepless night after drinking, it’s worth pointing out that alcohol causes a disruption of restorative sleep and can affect your cognitive abilities during waking hours.

…there’s no getting around the fact that there are a number of definite dangers and drawbacks with long-term consumption of small amounts of alcohol.

The Volume of Alcohol

When we’re talking about drinking, the definition of “light” and “heavy” consumption truly depends on the person.

And while a few studies might suggest that light drinking can help with bone or heart health, a higher alcohol intake has the opposite effect.

For example, low to moderate alcohol intake has been linked to a reduced risk of stroke, but consuming more than two drinks per week has been shown to increase the risk of having a stroke. Low consumptions of wine have been found to reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes, but higher intakes are associated with an increased risk.

Debunking the Myths

Other research projects have also suggested that any and all talk of health benefits linked with alcohol consumption is nothing but baloney. British scientists reviewed 53,000 people for a study released last February that found little to no health benefits associated with alcohol consumption.

They also said previous research touting the alleged “benefits” of alcohol was flawed because former drinkers and non-drinkers were consolidated into one large category, then compared to people who drink regularly.

Additional Reading: Proof that Alcohol and College Exams Don’t Mix

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