A Washington Post article answered some of the questions you may have had about alcohol consumption but were afraid to ask:

Why can the average man drink more than the average woman? The program director for the Division of Metabolism and Health Effects at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism is quoted as saying,

“Men have more body water, and that results in a slightly lower blood alcohol concentration level, since the alcohol is distributed throughout the ‘water space.’ ”  The American Heart Association and the Department of Health and Human Services are among the groups that recommend one drink a day for women and two for men.

Going on a drinking binge occasionally is better than drinking too much all the time, right? The article quotes a neuroscientist who says that waiting until the weekends to drink a lot is “the riskiest pattern of consumption for both bad behavior and physical damage…” and defines binge drinking as a man having five or more drinks in two hours and a woman having four or more.

I heard that drinking alcohol is good for your health, is that true? Red wine is known for helping prevent heart disease but one study found that drinking nonalcoholic red wine produced the most benefits. Alcoholic drinks have varying degrees of health benefits but many tend to pile on the calories so you should try light beers and wine spritzers.

Additionally, anyone who drinks copious amounts of alcohol and uses its health benefits as their excuse should know that, “…heavy drinking reverses the heart benefits associated with moderate levels of alcohol consumption.” There is a chance that if someone is misinterpreting health information to justify their drinking, that person may need an alcohol abuse recovery program.

It’s okay to use alcohol to wash down medication, right? Many people assume that while it is bad to consume alcohol with recreational drugs or prescription medication, it is perfectly okay to drink alcohol while taking over-the-counter medicine and this is not the case. Alcohol can cause troublesome interactions with cold medicine and pain relievers the same way it does with other drugs.