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5 Side Effects of Drinking White Wine Every Night

Should you give up your habit of enjoying a nightly glass of white wine?
FACT CHECKED BY Samantha Boesch

Alcohol, including white wine, can be part of a healthy lifestyle if you choose to drink. According to the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, if you opt to include alcohol in your diet, then it's suggested that you drink it in moderation.

The recommendation for moderate consumption is up to 2 drinks per day for men and up to 1 drink per day for women. But what exactly is considered one drink of white wine and what happens to your body when you drink white wine on a nightly basis?

One serving of alcohol is defined as 12 fluid ounces of regular beer (5% alcohol), 1.5 fluid ounces of 80-proof distilled spirits (40% alcohol) like rum or vodka, or 5 fluid ounces of wine (12% alcohol). If you choose white wine that has the percent alcohol higher than the standard 12%, then your 5 fluid ounces will be more than 1 drink.

So, check the percent alcohol to know how much you are drinking. And no, you cannot save all of your drinks for Saturday night. If you do choose to drink every day, here is what can happen to your body. Then, check out this new study on how Drinking Too Much Alcohol Can Increase Your Risk of Stroke.

You may not sleep well

glasses white wine

It's a common misconception that alcohol helps you sleep, but alcohol is in fact a depressant and can disrupt the flow of normal sleep rhythms. If you choose to drink white wine daily, have your drink at least 2 hours or longer before you hit the hay, or it may interfere with your quality of sleep.

The Most Popular Wine in Every State

You may gain weight

White wine provides on average about 115 calories per 5 fluids ounces. If you drink several glasses of wine every night, that can add up to over 300 calories extra per day. If you didn't balance your calories with the amount of wine you had (meaning you went over your total daily calories), that can lead to regularly taking in more calories than you need and ultimately, over time, you may gain weight.

You might be binge drinking without you realizing

It's also really important to note that how much alcohol you drink plays a major role in your health. According to the CDC, binge drinking is defined as drinking 5 or more drinks on an occasion for men, or 4 or more drinks on an occasion for women. So if your nightly drink of white wine has turned into drinking almost a bottle, then that would be considered binge drinking. Binge drinking increases your risk of chronic diseases like high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, liver disease, and certain forms of cancer (such as breast, liver, and colon).

As you can see, a glass of white wine on occasion should be perfectly harmless for most people, unless otherwise noted by your doctor. However, drinking every night can easily turn into an amount beyond "moderate consumption," which may ultimately lead to some discomfort or health complications.

It may protect your heart

Researchers have postulated that the compounds in white wine called tyrosols, caffeic acid, and shikimic acids may have something to do with white wine's cardioprotective effects. However, as of now, there isn't much research on them, so your best bet if you choose to drink white wine is to do so in moderation as defined above.

With these side effects of white wine in mind, are there any notable differences between drinking white and red wine?

Red vs. white wine

white red wine

Red wine is made with red grapes with their skins included in the fermentation process, while white wine is usually made with white grapes with the skins not included in the juice before the fermentation process.

In terms of nutritional value, the two wines are pretty similar. Five fluid ounces of red wine (12% alcohol) provides about 125 calories, 4 grams of carbs, and 3.1 grams of alcohol per glass, while white wine (12% alcohol) provides about 115 calories, 5 grams of carbs, and 2.9 grams of alcohol in a serving.

Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN
Toby Amidor is an award winning dietitian and Wall Street Journal best-selling cookbook author who believes healthy and wholesome can also be appetizing and delicious. Read more about Toby