A glass of wine every day, or should I leave it alone??
Annika Haffke – 4 min. Reading time
The popular saying is that drinking a glass of red wine every day reduces the risk of heart disease thanks to its valuable antioxidants. And anyway, a glass in honor, who could deny that already? After all, one glass usually does not get you drunk and therefore does not run the risk of becoming addicted. Or do? We tell you whether drinking a glass of wine every day is really healthy. We also give you tips if you want to change this habit.
Healthy or unhealthy?
The data on whether it is actually healthy to drink a glass of wine every day is not entirely clear. However, the vast majority of results indicate that even small amounts of alcohol are more harmful than beneficial to health and increase, rather than decrease, the risk of heart disease or cancer. Of course, this also applies to red wine. But of course it depends on the exact amount that is consumed.
The Robert Koch Institute recommends guideline values for low-risk consumption – i.e. a drinking quantity at which a low risk of damage to health is to be expected. For adult women this is no more than 12 grams of pure alcohol per day and for men no more than 24 grams. This is roughly equivalent to a small glass of wine for women (0.1 liter) and a large glass for men (0.2 liter). In addition, it is recommended not to drink alcohol at all at least two days a week. A glass of wine every day would therefore not meet the recommendations. But does it mean that I have an alcohol problem if I drink a glass of wine every day??
A glass of wine every day: Am I addicted??
Even if this question cannot be answered so sweepingly, there is probably no dependence if you drink a glass of wine every day – and no alcohol otherwise. The signs of dependence include, for example, reduced control over consumption. It means that you often drink more than you intended to. So if you stick with your glass of wine and it doesn't also regularly become more and join it with, say, a beer or more every day, your risk of addiction is relatively low.
You are unsure how much alcohol you actually drink? Then you can keep a drinking diary for a few weeks. This way, you'll quickly find out if you're actually sticking to one glass a day, or if you're headed toward drinking a bottle of wine every day.
If you want to know even more about the criteria for alcohol dependence, you can read about the differences between alcohol abuse and alcohol dependence on our blog.
I prefer to let it go – 4 tips on how to do it successfully
If you have the feeling that now and then it becomes more than just a glass of wine every day or you would like to change your habit in general, we have 4 tips for you on how to do exactly that.
1 Ask yourself: Why drink a glass of wine every day??
Although you may not be directly aware of it, your glass of wine probably has a function for you. Think about it: What does it help you with or what does it stand for?? You may drink wine every night to relax and unwind after a stressful day at work? Is it part of the meal for you or do you just enjoy wine? Is there perhaps someone else with whom you enjoy your glass of wine every day and it actually stands for sociability??
By finding out what function the glass of wine has, you can then think about what could fulfill the same function instead of alcohol.
For example, you can learn techniques for good stress management, enjoy a non-alcoholic wine with your meal, or learn to say no at social events and still have a good time together.
2 I don't see what I can't see
If you want to break your habit of drinking a glass of wine every day, a good trick is to have less wine in the house, or maybe even none at all. Because you can't drink what's not there. Alternatively, you can increase the effort it would take to drink a glass of wine. For example, by putting the wine glasses in the back of the cupboard or putting the wine bottles in the last corner of the cellar.
3 No glass of wine every day – what's the point??
To increase your motivation for an occasional alcohol break in the evening, you can think about the benefits of not drinking wine every night. Besides health benefits, you may be able to use the car spontaneously in the evening, eat fewer calories or save money? Feel free to write down your pro-alcohol arguments so you can refer back to them at any time. You may also like to involve another person in your plan to stop drinking wine every day. This can also increase your motivation.
4 Drink less alcohol with HelloBetter
If you want to change your drinking habits and your approach to alcohol, our online program HelloBetter Less Alcohol can also support you. In the course units you can expect texts, videos, audios and interactive exercises that will help you reduce your alcohol consumption, regain more strength in everyday life and better deal with unpleasant feelings and thoughts. If you would like to know more about the content and structure of the therapy program, please visit our course page "Drink less alcohol".