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What Happens to Your Body When You Drink Alcohol During the Day

Here are seven ways day drinking is different from night drinking.

During the warm summer months, there's nothing like a good old barbecue and tossing back a few. Whether you love a cold beer or a cocktail, having a few boozy drinks during the day—especially in the summer heat—can certainly take a toll on your body. Here's a look at what happens to your body when you indulge in day drinking. Don't forget to sign up for our newsletter to get the latest food and wellness news delivered straight to your inbox.

Your cancer risk may increase

man sitting on bed with alcohol glass - how does alcohol affect the brain

Moderate alcohol consumption is defined as drinking a maximum of one drink per day for women and a maximum of two drinks per day for men. One serving of alcohol is defined by the 2015-2020 dietary guidelines for Americans as 12 fluid ounces of beer, 5 fluid ounces of wine, or 1.5 fluid ounces of 80-proof liquor (like rum or vodka). If you regularly knock back a few cocktails throughout the day, that can increase the risk for certain forms of cancer specifically breast, colon, liver, esophagus, and throat. And Here's What Happens To Your Body If You Drink Alcohol Every Day.

You may be at greater risk for heart disease

wine on table

If you love drinking during the day and do so regularly, it can lead to high blood pressure, heart failure, or stroke. This means that you're consuming over the 1 to 2 drinks per day for a woman and man, respectively.

You could put on some weight

Feet on scale

That homemade margarita can provide several hundred calories. If you're having two or three at brunch, you could be taking in over 1,000 calories in alcohol alone (that's not counting any of the food!). Continue doing so day after day, and you can certainly put on more than a few pounds over time. Should You Stop Drinking Alcohol to Lose Weight?

Your sleep schedule could be off

Lack of sleep

You may love that morning or afternoon buzz that goes along with weekend festivities, but afterwards you may find yourself very tired. Your evening will be spent in bed doing nothing but sleeping and then you may find yourself wide awake in the middle of the night, which isn't very healthy.

The alcohol may not get absorbed as quickly


If you're drinking alcohol with during the day, you may not fully feel the effects as quickly as you would if you were drinking in the evening. This is because daytime drinking is usually accompanied with food—like a brunch or barbecue. This doesn't mean you should be drinking more—still keep track of how much you drink and keep drinks to 1 to 2 per day for a woman and man, respectively.

It can predispose you to risky behaviors

beer cheers

Drinking can impact your decision-making skills and lower your inhibitions, which increases the likelihood of risky behavior. This could lead to bad decisions like getting behind the wheel while under the influence (alcohol also lowers your motor skills) or engaging in social behaviors you would otherwise avoid.

It may help prevent sunburns

red wine pouring

The flavonoids found in red wine have been found to prevent the skin's chemical reactions triggered by excessive sun exposure. Still, always remember to use sunscreen when you're outdoors in the sun.

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
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