Saturday, November 10, 2012

Tiny Tipples

The Free Dictionary defines 'tipple' as:
tip·ple 1 Pronunciation (tpl)
tr. & intr.v. tip·pledtip·plingtip·ples
To drink (alcoholic liquor) or engage in such drinking, especially habitually or to excess.

But coming right off a cleanse, it's not a good idea to tipple to excess. ;) Your tolerance levels start changing as you cleanse - particularly when you've just finished one: you don't need as much to feel the effects of a drink. 

So it's been small glasses of wine here and there. Even at lunch in a restaurant - when I'm usually a "super-size" customer - I ordered a small glass of wine yesterday. It's a habit that doesn't last long, mind you - but to tell you the truth I can't even imagine drinking 9 or 10 ounces of wine in one sitting right now, even though it's par for the course at the end of a drinking cycle. 

The average person metabolizes one drink - or 0.6 oz of ethanol - per hour. If you drink much more than this, your blood alcohol content will rise and you'll start to feel drunk. So that's about 5 ounces of wine, one ounce of liquor or one beer per hour.  Trying to stay within these guidelines will put less stress on your liver - and, if you've ever had a 'problem' - your life.

It's interesting to note that regular heavy drinkers can metabolize alcohol more quickly because their livers produce more of the enzyme used to digest it: dehydrogenase. Being able to drink more is one of the factors that can lead to abuse and, eventually, addiction. But that's another important reason cleansing works so well: it keeps your tolerance levels in check.

A really interesting article about tolerance levels and alcohol absorption rates can be found here. The University of Rochester published it and I've consulted it many times in the past. It discusses not only how we metabolize alcohol, but why men and women digest it differently and how food really affects absorption rates, among other things. It's where I learned it's often pointless to drink more after a late full meal - unless you want to go to bed sober and wake up four hours later drunk. I've wasted a lot less good wine since then ... and saved myself a lot of hangovers.

Having said all that ... it sure does feel good to be looking at five months of 'normal' again. Especially with the holidays coming up! Cheers! 

'Tolerance and Beyond' - University of Rochester Health Promotion Office - Definition of 'tipple'