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Binge Drinking

What Happens If You Drink 6 Beers a Day?

October 26, 2023
9 min read
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Reframe Content Team
A team of researchers and psychologists who specialize in behavioral health and neuroscience. This group collaborates to produce insightful and evidence-based content.
October 26, 2023
9 min read
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Certified recovery coach specialized in helping everyone redefine their relationship with alcohol. His approach in coaching focuses on habit formation and addressing the stress in our lives.
October 26, 2023
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Recognized by Fortune and Fast Company as a top innovator shaping the future of health and known for his pivotal role in helping individuals change their relationship with alcohol.
October 26, 2023
9 min read
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Reframe Content Team
October 26, 2023
9 min read

Many of us enjoy a refreshing brew from time to time. It's a means of winding down after a busy day, a social lubricant that leads to conversation and shared laughter. The taste, the bubbles, and the accompanying sense of relaxation can make it easy to lose track of just how many we've had. But what happens when this casual habit morphs into drinking six beers a day, every day?

Six Beers a Day: The Aftereffects Aren’t Pretty

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), moderate drinking is defined as two standard drinks per day (or less) for men and one standard drink per day (or less) for women. A standard drink in the United States is equivalent to 14 grams (0.6 ounces) of pure alcohol, the amount typically found in a 12-ounce beer. When we consistently consume six beers a day, we're well into the realm of heavy drinking and alcohol misuse.

When we consistently drink in excess, the health implications can be both acute and chronic. Here are seven potential health impacts of drinking six (or more) beers a day. 

Weight Gain 

A standard beer carries around 150 calories. When we consume six beers, we're looking at an intake of approximately 900 extra calories a day. Over a week, that totals up to an extra 6,300 calories! Given that it takes approximately 3,500 extra calories to gain a pound, we could be looking at a potential weight gain of up to two pounds a week, if all other factors remain constant. The beer belly isn't a myth; it's the result of this high-caloric intake. And with extra weight gain comes an array of associated health issues — risk of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes.

Visual representation of daily six beer consumption effects
Liver Damage

Our liver is responsible for breaking down alcohol and removing it from our bodies. But there's only so much it can process at a time. Drinking six beers a day can overload our liver, leading to alcohol-induced liver disease. This condition presents itself in three stages: fatty liver, alcohol-induced hepatitis, and cirrhosis, each more severe than the previous. Cirrhosis, the final stage, is a potentially life-threatening condition in which the liver is significantly scarred and its function severely compromised.

Cardiovascular Disease

Consuming six beers a day can lead to hypertension (high blood pressure), one of the most important risk factors for premature death due to its role in promoting conditions like heart disease and stroke. Additionally, heavy alcohol use can also lead to cardiomyopathy: the heart muscle weakens, preventing the heart from pumping blood efficiently.

Alcohol Dependence

Drinking six beers a day can lead to increased tolerance, making us drink more to feel the same effects — a surefire path towards alcohol dependence. As dependence progresses, we may feel a compulsive need to drink and experience withdrawal symptoms (tremors, hallucinations, and seizures) if we stop. Dependence can take a massive toll on our personal lives, affecting relationships, work, and our overall quality of life.

Mental Health Issues

Mental health and alcohol consumption have a complex relationship. Alcohol might seem like a temporary escape from feelings of anxiety or depressive thoughts, but in reality, it can exacerbate these issues. Heavy drinking can lead to increased risk of mental health disorders, including depression and anxiety disorders. Furthermore, alcohol is a depressant, which means it can disrupt the balance of chemicals in our brain, leading to changes in our mood, thinking, behavior, and coordination.

Digestive Problems

Alcohol starts affecting our digestive system the moment it enters our mouth. Drinking six beers a day can lead to issues like gastritis (inflammation of the stomach lining) and pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas). Moreover, alcohol can disrupt the gut's microbiome, leading to a range of gastrointestinal symptoms like bloating, gas, diarrhea, and discomfort.

Increased Cancer Risk

Regular, heavy drinking increases the risk of several types of cancer, including oral, esophagus, larynx, liver, colon, and even breast cancer. While the mechanisms linking alcohol to cancer are not fully understood, acetaldehyde, the harmful chemical alcohol becomes in our body, is believed to be carcinogenic.

Key Points To Keep in Mind

While a single beer may seem innocuous, the cumulative effect of regularly drinking six beers a day can bring about these potential health risks, painting a troubling picture. Yet, it's important to remember that awareness is the first step towards change. With this understanding, we can make informed decisions about our alcohol consumption.

This doesn't mean we need to eliminate beer from our lives completely. Enjoying a chilled bottle on a hot day or celebrating a milestone with friends is perfectly fine, if that’s what we choose to do. The key is moderation. By being mindful of our consumption, understanding the risks associated with heavy drinking, and seeking help if needed, we can ensure our relationship with alcohol is balanced.

There's no escaping the fact that we are social beings, and alcohol often plays a role in our socialization. But the potential health implications of heavy drinking serve as a crucial reminder of the need for mindful drinking. It's our responsibility to take care of our health, to ensure that our lives are not just filled with years, but our years are filled with life.

Change Your Drinking Habits With Reframe

Although it isn’t a treatment for alcohol use disorder (AUD), the Reframe app can help you cut back on drinking gradually, with the science-backed knowledge to empower you 100% of the way. Our proven program has helped millions of people around the world drink less and live more. And we want to help you get there, too!

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And that’s not all! Every month, we launch fun challenges, like Dry/Damp January, Mental Health May, and Outdoorsy June. You won’t want to miss out on the chance to participate alongside fellow Reframers (or solo if that’s more your thing!).

The Reframe app is free for 7 days, so you don’t have anything to lose by trying it. Are you ready to feel empowered and discover life beyond alcohol? Then download our app through the App Store or Google Play today!

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At Reframe, we do science, not stigma. We base our articles on the latest peer-reviewed research in psychology, neuroscience, and behavioral science. We follow the Reframe Content Creation Guidelines, to ensure that we share accurate and actionable information with our readers. This aids them in making informed decisions on their wellness journey.
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