I'm not sure if it's because people in the city are really job-obsessed or what, but drinking is a HUGE part of the culture here. It almost seems like people aren't game for hanging out if alcohol isn't in the picture.
Anybody want to go out for tea? or quest bars?
My guess is that because people spend so much time at their thankless, stressful jobs, they just want to unwind and let loose when they get off work. And I guess they like to do that by drinking a lot. Every day.
Being a light drinker myself, I hate that piece of New York culture. I can have an amazing time without drinking a drop of alcohol. Why can't we just grab some tea or go for a walk or play board games... you know?
Drinks are expensive here (like avg $15 per drink), they're full of carby calories, and [obv] they alter your consciousness and often cause bad decisions.
It seems to be pretty unanimous among the sciencey people out there (and us regular people too) that heavy drinking is bad for your health — it interferes with the brain’s communications, leads to irregular heart behavior, takes a toll on the liver, makes the pancreas mad, and can often be linked to various types of cancer.
And of course, you know, heavy drinking can deteriorate human relationships as well.
But I don’t want to go into any of that today. It confuses me that some recent studies have shown that even just one drink a day can increase the risk of cancer, and yet many cardiologists say that a glass of red wine a day is good for your heart.
What’s a health-conscious girl to think?
I did some research on the topic myself, and there’s a lot of mixed info out there. Doctor Arthur Klatsky, MD, would probably suggest that is because it has to be "individualized according to the specific person.”
Well, that’s not really helpful.
Seems to me that it would be better to not drink at all. I overheard a trainer at our old gym in Houston (who was super jacked) say to his client, “Our bodies were not made to drink alcohol. Period.”
I really liked the article Bodybuilding and Alcohol: Do They Mix? on Bodybuilding.com. You can read the article, but basically the answer is no. Alcohol can interfere with recovery, weight loss, protein synthesis, hydration, and motivation.
If you don’t currently drink, don’t feel like you should start for the sake of heart health. If you do, do so in moderation because the benefits don't outweigh the costs.
The more I think about it, myself, the more I realize that I really should steer clear of it for the most part. The calories and the health risks are just not worth the benefit of drinking at a work happy hour. Just because it's free and everyone else is drinking doesn't mean I have to drink anything myself. I can have fun without alcohol. I’d rather be the sober weirdo with defined abs and no cancer.
All of this is not to say that I don’t/won’t ever drink. I enjoy a good glass of Malbec every once in a while, but I am freeing myself from the social obligation to drink. I’ll drink on my terms, k?
This is basically just me thinking out loud, but I would love to hear you guys’ thoughts on the topic. Do you drink? What do you think about drinking?