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Alcohol and You

Old 02-21-17, 11:08 AM
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Alcohol and You

Do the two of you get along well? Iíd like to hear the stories of others in the 50+ crowd regarding their consumption/non-consumption of alcohol.

For most of my life, Iíve consumed a beer or two regularly almost every night. The past few years I often added a shot of hard liqour (whiskey/tequila/rum) on top of that, because I liked the taste and the buzz. But I noticed that it was disturbing my sleep, and affecting how tired I felt the next day. I also worried about the potential health issues of drinking 5-6 nights a week. It didnít seem like a wise long term plan to me, but I was hooked. With some struggle, Iíve managed to cut back to only 1 or 2 nights a week, and I sleep and feel much better.

Now, I find drinking even one night a week still affects how I sleep and feel, which of course I don't like. I don't want to totally quit, but I also don't want to fall back into my old habits. Anyone else been here?
Tell me about your relationship with alcohol, and how it may have changed through the years. Thanks!
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Old 02-21-17, 11:23 AM
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I agree with your opinion 100%. Prior to Thanksgiving I drank red wine like a Frenchman, two glasses with dinner 5 days a week. I've cut back to 4 times a month, mostly while dining out with friends.

The alcohol is not an issue with me. It's the sugar and calories. I find that eliminating wine and the occasion beer reduces my appetite and keeps my mood more level. I'm eating healthier with reduced cravings for sweets and snacks.

When I ride my bike I feel free and happy and strong. I'm liberated from the usual nonsense of day to day life. Solid, dependable, silent, my bike is my horse, my fighter jet, my island, my friend. Together we will conquer that hill and thereafter the world.

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Old 02-21-17, 11:32 AM
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I started drinking at 12, and by college that and pot almost got me thrown out. Never an alcoholic, but instead an abuser of alcohol and drugs. By my early 20s, I stopped all of that. To this date, many, many years later I rarely drink and never do drugs, and have no desire. I am up at Whistler with my wife and two of our five kids. They like to drink, but within reason. So, I went a little crazy and bought an extremely expensive bottle of whisky. I had one drink with them, and didn't really enjoy the feeling. Times change, and so do we.

By the way, truly expensive whisky really is profoundly more pleasant to drink.
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Old 02-21-17, 11:32 AM
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Like just about everyone else, I used to tolerate alcohol better than I do today. It doesn't affect me much if I do the things that normal folks do, but drinking even a few beers the day before I'm to do a difficult climb in the heat can dehydrate me to the point where it is difficult to recover.

I occasionally like a glass of red with dinner, and nothing tastes better than a cold beer on a hot day. But frankly, I'm not much of fan of alcohol, so doing without is no biggie.

Not that I didn't give alcoholism the old college try (curiously enough ... in college). I did that with a vengeance. I just tired of it.
Proud parent of a happy inner child ...

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Old 02-21-17, 11:35 AM
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I've chosen not to drink. And it is too late to start now.

Mom will regularly have a single glass of wine with dinner. However, she will not drink any alcohol if driving, so she usually doesn't have any when going out, unless I'm with her... an enabler?

I don't know about sleep, but moderation is possible for many.
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Old 02-21-17, 11:39 AM
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It took many years to figure out why I never had the tolerance for ethanol that others have.
In general, more than one drink makes me sick;
Two drinks -> headache;
Three or more -> nausea.
But once I figured it out, it became obvious that it would be asinine for me to drink at all:

To the best of my knowledge I have no Asian ancestry, but only German/Swiss.
Since it is inherited, I'm wondering which parent I got it from;
They were devout Southern Baptists, so they never drank.
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Old 02-21-17, 11:48 AM
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Originally Posted by AlmostTrick View Post
Tell me about your relationship with alcohol, and how it may have changed through the years.
I'm 55. About 10 years ago I noticed if I drank alcohol less than two hours before bed I would wake up within two hours of falling asleep. The same goes for ice cream. The problem, I believe is sugar.

In my 30s I settled on a one-drink per hour rule. This kept me sober and sharp and avoided hangovers. In my 40s it became a one drink a night rule, as two drinks, even two hours apart, would lead to a head-ache.

In my 40s I also gave up wine, as most wine would give me sinus problems. I also averaged about one drink a week. In the last few years I have broken the two-drink a night rule and half the time I'd have a mild hangover the next morning.

I'm now 55. We've had some challenging and upsetting health issues in the family. I find I drink more often, maybe 3-4 nights a week. However, I will pour half the liquor I used to, and sip on it longer. With beer, I'll drink 10-12 ounces of 3.3% beer, but a good strong 7% IPA or stout, and I won't finish the bottle.

After 25 or so I stopped enjoying getting drunk or feeling out of control. And nowadays the more alcohol the closer to bed time, the more interrupted sleep.

It helps that my wife rarely drinks.

But for the last two and a half years, the main factor that limits my drinking is that I am always "on call" with regard to the family health issues. I may get a call at anytime, anywhere and have to be available, alert, adult and responsible. And I love my family more than I love alcohol, and fortunately I have the self control needed. I understand that others have genetic predispositions to alcohol addiction, I consider myself fortunate to not have that issue, and I have seen and appreciate how difficult it is for some others who do.

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Old 02-21-17, 12:24 PM
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I drink red wine and have done so my entire adult life (I'm 65): two six oz. glasses a day, one after work/before dinner, and one with dinner. I've never been prone to excess when it comes to booze -- don't know why, just the way it is -- so I've never fussed about it or thought about it.

Don't drink (never have) beer or liquor. Love the taste of good whiskey, but it don't agree with me so I never touch the stuff.

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Old 02-21-17, 12:38 PM
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recently cut it out (mostly) meat too (mostly) ... trying an experiment for my gout
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Old 02-21-17, 12:41 PM
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I work in an emergency department. My patients are my daily reminders why I choose to remain sober and free of substances other than caffeine.
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Old 02-21-17, 01:01 PM
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It's waxed and waned over the years, like anything else. Lately I find myself craving the carbs in beer, at least the kind of beer I like. Liquid bread almost. I vaguely recall that it can have something to do with increasing serotonin levels, which can't be a good thing.

I still metabolize beer faster than I can get a buzz, but I enjoy a decent Scotch now and again.
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Old 02-21-17, 01:07 PM
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I'm 51. I drank beer in high school/college, then stopped for decades. Ten years ago I started to enjoy a craft beer with a meal and/or a movie. Now I have a couple after a ride with my bike team, and a couple with a movie. Some weeks I don't drink anything, some weeks I might have 5 beers total.

If I drink too much it makes it hard to ride a bike, drive a car, stand up, etc., so I don't drink that much.

I don't get hung over. My body seems to metabolize alcohol better now than it did when I was young.

I don't have trouble sleeping, but I don't drink right before bed.
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Old 02-21-17, 01:10 PM
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Everybody is different, and IMO each of us needs to consider his/her own response to alcohol.

In general, there's medical evidence to support the idea of a single drink nightly or a few times a week as being beneficial for older folks, and I enjoy a martini 3-4 times a week. I rarely drink beer, because one isn't enough to satisfy, and I don't need the added calories. But otherwise, I've never had issues with higher consumption, short of the direct effects of drinking too much too fast.

When I'm in Cozumel, I tend to drink more beer, up to 2-3 in an evening, though not every evening. However, I'm walking more and eating lighter, so it works out OK.

So, my advice to anyone is enjoy it in moderation if it doesn't bother you, and quit if it does.
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Old 02-21-17, 01:19 PM
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I tasted a beer once when I was a teenager. Tried a sip of wine about 20 years later. Didn't care for either, so that was that.
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Old 02-21-17, 01:33 PM
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Never drank at all. It's a family thing - not religious. My uncle was hit by a drunk driver and lingered for a couple of weeks in the ICU before dying. That turned my parents against alcohol so it wasn't in the house after I was really old enough to know what it was.

I never regretted not having it around. I have enough problems with food!
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Old 02-21-17, 02:17 PM
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About 15 years ago, I stopped drinking because I couldn't stop. I had bad drinking habits formed when I was in high school and college, and never grew out of them. So after an incident, no one was harmed, I realized I had to stop. So I decided to do so. I didn't drink for about 7 or 8 years. Then resumed with a beer once in a while, and now I'm able to enjoy the many great independent brewers. I can have one or two and stop. I took too long to figure out how to do that.
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Old 02-21-17, 02:29 PM
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I got ripping drunk when I was 15. Hardly touched it in the 38 years since. I don't like the loss of control.

St. Paul pretty much sums up my feelings...
"All things are lawful," but not all things are helpful. "All things are lawful," but not all things build up.
- 1 Corinthians 10:23

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Old 02-21-17, 02:34 PM
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Very moderate consumption here. Usually a glass of red wine with dinner, occasionally a beer in the afternoon or evening. Always the good stuff from one of our excellent craft breweries.
Never more than two drinks on an evening out.
Even in my youth, I never went crazy with it. I could count the number of times I've been what you could call drunk on one hand with most of the fingers left over.
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Old 02-21-17, 02:46 PM
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We have an excellent bunch of local breweries so I enjoy a craft beer a couplafew times a week. The darker stuff like stouts, porters and Scottish ales suit my slow sipping tendency. It can take me a couple of hours to finish a beer. Unless I'm eating pizza, bbq or Mexican food, in which case I'll wash it down with any old thing.

Like AlmostTrick mentioned it affects my sleep. Actually that's an understatement. Alcohol revs me up exactly like caffeine, so I try to avoid drinking too late in the day.

I have noticed a bit of a persistent pudge, although my weight is otherwise close to my peak physical condition weight of my 20s. I'm gonna blame the cream and sugar in my coffee for that.
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Old 02-21-17, 02:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Vortac180 View Post
I work in an emergency department. My patients are my daily reminders why I choose to remain sober and free of substances other than caffeine.
yup. broke my leg peeing one night. blamed it on the Grappa (35 - 60 percent alcohol) kinda caught me off-guard
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Old 02-21-17, 03:35 PM
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I enjoyed my Bicycle Tour, Irish and Scottish Pub Crawl , bringing along my Mandolin to play music when I could join in, Immensely.

Now My bike comes into the Bar with me.. Happy Hour 16 oz low test domestic Lager $1.50 is a budget stretcher..

4 micro-brewery-cafes within a small radius , Here. that $5 a pint.....

Shore Leave, when in the Navy mid 60's , was another Story..

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Old 02-21-17, 03:44 PM
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Yeah I could be doing a better in the consuming less alchohol dept. I have been steadly drinking for the past year. Prior to that I had about 4 1/2 years sobriety. I don't drink the hard stuff, just red wine and micro brew. It's not doing that much for me these days and is getting pretty expensive. Drinking in the evening can mess with your sleep in the middle of the night. Intially you may be out, but later on it can keep you up. If I drink beer at night, I get up and go more also.

There are some health benefits to red wine and I find there is nothing better to take the "edge" off, having had too much coffee/caffeine during the day. Thing is once that bottle is opened it's hard for me to just have one glass and it goes bad in a few days, so half a bottle and half a sixer is usually par for me. I think I am going to cut back and just going to add my alchohol fund to my CV bike expenditure fund. 12 steps works for some people, but I am more cold turkey kind of guy. Plus I don't like obsessing on exact quit dates, because then your sobriety starts to feel like it is a streak, (that will be broken at some point). I am not going to say I am never going to have a beer again, but cutting back for awhile seems to be in order. I also reserve the right to have a glass of red wine if I have had a particulery stressful day and/or too much caffeine.
Re: CV bike stuff, I am into it, I like it!

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Old 02-21-17, 04:27 PM
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I'm what could be called a social drinker. I never think of having a drink at home except for parties and meals with friends. I go to the pub once or twice a week with a bunch of friends and have three pints of beer over a couple of hours. The beer is fine, but the laughs and conversation are great.

If I ride the day after drinking it tends to be after lunch as I'm a bit sluggish first thing.

My son thinks I'm a wimp!
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Old 02-21-17, 05:05 PM
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I havent had a drink, yea even a sip of an alcoholic beverage since April 5, 1981.
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Old 02-21-17, 05:58 PM
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I quit all alcohol entirely in December 2015 and by April 2016 had lost 50 lbs. I sleep better and feel 20 years younger.
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