Originally Posted by Blue Dragonfly
That said, I can imagine it would be very emotionally difficult to accept that drinking is ok if you came from a home where alchohol/drugs were abused. I remember seeing my parents drunk a couple of times, and it was pretty scary. I can't imagine how difficult that would be to live with every day.
That's exactly the point I was trying to make regarding the person who so adamantly said she'd rather formula feed than give her baby alcohol.
Again, though, I will point out that alcohol is NOT healthy. If you indulge in it, it is, indeed, an indulgence. I am really surprised that on a "crunchy" board, people actually advocate the use of drugs and alcohol, when they are so detrimental to the body.
The whole, "well, it can help reduce the risk of heart disease" argument is kind of like saying, "well, shooting yourself in the foot at least would take your mind off of the headache you have, so shooting yourself in the foot is a good thing."
When you do things that your body has to "recover from" but which don't add a positive value at the other end (like exercise does, for example), then you are doing something detrimental to your body.
Alcohol has no physical benefits (aside from the 'may reduce the risk of heart disease' thing, which I'll go into in a minute), yet taxes your liver, depresses your nervous system, and uses energy for recovery that should be put to better uses. It dehydrates you, it causes an insulin response, and it is high in high GI carbs (in other words, it can contribute to making you fat).
Every bodybuilder who is at all serious about the sport knows full well the detrimental effects of drinking. You don't feel "peak" the next day, because your body is worn down from and recovering from the drinking (even in small amounts). You have to drink a lot of extra water, your energy is way down... it's just not worth it.
And it's especially not worth it for the small likelihood that it may help reduce your chances of getting heart disease. Especially given the fact that exercise, proper eating, and not forcing your body recover from an altered state will do 100x more to prevent heart disease.
It's like feeding your baby formula because "well, it will help baby sleep longer between feedings."
Is sleeping longer between feedings worth the detrimental effects of formula feeding on DC's body? Of course we'll all say, "Heck no!" and think that's a stupid question.
Well, is the "possibility of reduced likelihood of heart disease" or the "well, it alters my perceptions which is fun" worth the detrimental effects of alcohol on the body? Everyone has to decide that for themselves. Me, though, I'd rather not pass those detrimental effects of dehydration, insulin response, altered perception, etc. on to my child.
Nor do I find the decreased energy, dehydration, increased fat, and altered perceptions to be either fun, nor worth the "possible" reduction in my chance of getting heart disease.
A chance that is pretty slim for me to begin with, because I eat so carefully and exercise regularly so that my blood pressure remains low, my heart rate is slow when resting, my cholesterol levels are incredible (so sayeth the doctor), and my energy level is incredibly high.
I feel far better leading a healthy lifestyle than I feel for the short time that my perception is altered by alcohol. When you are in great physical shape, you REALLY notice the unpleasant side effects of alcohol.
If you're not in great physical shape, putting one more demand on your body isn't really helpful. It's a little like putting your pans into a really old dishwasher without prerinsing. Don't be surprised when it doesn't work out so hot.
Don't be surprised when your body gets dehydrated, you put on weight, your liver gets tired, your immune system gets depressed, your nervous system slows down, and your metabolism crashes if you add yet another thing for your body to "recover" from on top of everything else.