The Biggest Mistakes Women Make When Drinking
They keep their first-aid kit stocked with...
An emergency bottle of merlot. Studies have found that women are more likely to drink more than they want or plan to when they're feeling sad, anxious or stressed, says Debi Anne LaPlante, PhD, an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School and the author of the medical guide Responsible Drinking for Women. Men, on the other hand, tend to drink too much because of peer pressure. While guys can plan to stay away from sports bars, clubs, BBQs and other situations where they'll be tempted to down a few beers, it's harder for women to avoid their most powerful triggers. After enduring a hair-raising day or hearing upsetting news, pull out a yoga DVD instead of a wine glass. Research suggests yoga can boost your mood—and perhaps reduce the need for that liquid SOS.
They go outside and come back smelling of mints.
You only smoke when you drink, but that might just be one of the worst times. Not only does the nicotine make you crave more alcohol (and the effect can last for hours after you stub out your cigarette), but new research from Brown University shows that smoking while drinking makes you more likely to wake up with a terrible hangover. While the throbbing headache is temporary, other effects of this pairing are more troublesome, especially if you're a regular drinker. A study published in the British Journal of Psychiatry found that those who drank heavily and smoked had a 36 percent faster cognitive decline compared with those who drank moderately and didn't smoke at all. (After 10 years, the brains of the heavy-drinking smokers had aged the equivalent of 12 years, and the researchers concluded that it was the combination of the two vices that was accelerating the aging process.)
Next: Why women tend to feel the affects of alcohol quicker than men