As you gain more experience with alcohol, you may feel comfortable with how it affects your body. You know how one beer makes you feel, and you know when you’re not able to drive. As you age, though, you might feel that one drink affects you more than it did a couple of years ago.
As your body ages, it actually processes alcohol differently than when you were in your twenties.
Changing blood alcohol concentration
With age, your body is more susceptible to a higher blood alcohol concentration. This is because the water in your body decreases and fatty tissue replaces some of your muscle mass.
Your body processes move slower the older you get. This includes blood flow and enzymes in your liver. Alcohol sits in your liver longer as you age before it’s metabolized. This means that alcohol will affect you more and can result in more liver damage.
Your general functions become increasingly impaired as you get older. Your coordination and reflexes specifically decrease, only to be even more impacted by alcohol use. With alcohol, you may be more at risk for falls and car accidents.
Alcohol has been shown to have negative effects on some health conditions that can develop with age, including diabetes, high blood pressure, strokes, mood disorders, ulcers, osteoporosis and memory loss.
You may need to adjust your drinking habits as you age because your body becomes more susceptible to alcohol’s effects. While you may feel that you know how to drink safely, always be aware of your changing body and keep yourself and those around you safe.