Ask a Doctor: Is Binge Drinking Worse Than Daily Drinking?

We Asked a Doctor: What's Worse, Binge Drinking 1x Per Week or Having One Drink Every Night?

Ever sit back and remember the good old days of college? You know, the ones where you’d chug endless cans of PBR, take shot after shot of whatever cheap liquor you could get your hands on, and… O.K., wait, you probably don’t remember at all, since getting blackout drunk was most likely the point (or at least the aftermath) of your evening. The effects of binge-drinking on our health are detrimental, both short-term and long-term.

On the other hand, we’ve all heard about the positive effects of a daily glass of red wine. This got us thinking: Having seven glasses of wine over the course of one week (one glass per night) and having seven glasses of wine in the same night are the same amount of liquid, calories, and sugar. But are they really the same? What’s worse for your body, drinking seven drinks in one night, or having a single, daily glass of wine every night of the week?

We reached out to Roger Emert, M.D., internist at NYU Langone Medical Center, for a professional’s insight on the topic. Turns out, binge drinking one night a week is much worse for your body than consuming one serving of alcohol daily. With binge drinking, your body suffers from a high level of toxicity. In addition, it’s difficult for your body to metabolize high amounts of alcohol at one time. When large amounts of alcohol are present in your body all at once, the body suffers many abnormalities and consequences, such as distorted hearing and vision, difficulty breathing, and vomiting, to name just a few. Consuming one drink a day every day is much better for the body, as your body can easily metabolize small amounts of alcohol. Plus, there’s all those health benefits to drinking wine!

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The moral of the story is, you’re not in college anymore, so don’t drink like it. Take care of your body and reward yourself with a nightly glass of wine!