What are Peter’s thoughts on alcohol consumption and health? – The Peter Attia Drive

Key Takeaways

  • “I’m not convinced there’s a single benefit to ethanol in the human body”
  • “I’m not trying to say a glass of red wine a day is harmful. I’m saying it’s not benefiting your health.”
  • The effect of alcohol on sleep:
    • Resting heart rate is increased
    • It takes longer to reach your lowest resting heart rate during the night
    • Heart rate variability drops
    • REM cycles are compressed

Intro

Peter’s Thoughts on the Consumption of Alcohol

  • Alcohol is a toxin, but the dose makes the poison
    • There’s a probability distribution that drives the impact of any toxin on a population – some will be largely unimpacted, others will be the opposite
  • “I’m not convinced there’s a single benefit to ethanol in the human body”
    • An oz. of distilled spirit, a 4 oz. glass of wine, and a beer are all about 15 grams of ethanol
  • Alcohol (ethanol) affects both the liver and brain
    • The effect on the brain = the buzz (the central nervous system depression with some euphoria)
    • The effect on the liver is highly similar to that of sugar/fructose
  • Peter has noticed that when he drinks, he loosens the reigns on what he eats

Peter’s Drinking Rules

  • As a general rule, don’t drink
    • Never drink on airplanes
  • If you do drink, drink good alcohol

Peter’s Favorites

  • Wine – Clio
  • Tequila – Clase Azul Reposado (neat)
    • 1942 is also pretty good
  • Beer – he’s not willing to say because it’s too hard to find

Isn’t red wine associated with longevity?

  • “I’m not trying to say a glass of red wine a day is harmful. I’m saying it’s not benefiting your health.”
  • Red wine does have small amounts of resveratrol and a while back, David Sinclair‘s lab showed that resveratrol (in high concentrations) enhances longevity
    • There are two issues with this:
      • Peter doesn’t necessarily believe the data – it hasn’t been reproduced
      • The amount of resveratrol in red wine is too minute
  • But you have to consider, if a little red wine helps you unwind perhaps there’s a net benefit
    • It might lower your cortisol/distress

The Effect of Alcohol on Sleep

  • With the Oura Ring (purchase a ring using this link for a $40 discount), Peter has noticed:
    • 1 drink in the evening doesn’t impact his sleep
    • 2 or more drinks absolutely does “and does so in a profound way”
      • His resting heart rate will increase by 10+ beats
      • It’ll take longer for him to reach his resting heart rate (you ideally want your resting heart rate to be achieved within the first third of the night)
      • His heart rate variability drops
      • His REM cycles are compressed
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