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The Worst Drinking Habits That Age You Faster, Say Experts

Avoid these pitfalls next time you need to quench your thirst.

Feeling thirsty? With so many options available, it feels tempting to grab a bottle of soda, a sugary coffee, or a quick energy drink when you feel parched. And while a cocktail after work with coworkers or a sugary coffee on the weekend may sound ideal, your typical drinking habits may have some unintended consequences and could even prematurely age you.

To avoid those early wrinkles, we spoke with a team of experts to narrow down the very worst drinking habits that can undo any of your beauty efforts and instead, keep you looking younger. To appear that much more vibrant, avoid any of these drinking pitfalls that guarantee to age you well beyond your years. Then, be sure to read up on these 23 Foods That Make You Look Older Than You Really Are.

Drinking too much alcohol


"Alcohol puts a lot of strain on the body and accelerates the aging process in several ways," says Clara Lawson, RDN. "It promotes the release of stress hormones that speeds up the aging process. Besides, alcohol hinders the normal functioning of the digestive system and restricts its ability to absorb vital nutrients including vitamins, minerals, protein, and carbohydrates. This is the reason why heavy drinkers become malnourished and look older than their age."

"Heavy consumption of alcohol also makes you deficient in vitamin A, which maintains cell regeneration and collagen production," Lawson continues. "Becoming deficient in vitamin A eventually affects the youthful appearance of the skin. Alcohol also greatly dehydrates the skin that results in premature skin aging signs such as sagging skin and the formation of wrinkles."

Don't feel like you can't have a great time if you want to cut down on your alcohol consumption. If you love the taste of your favorite adult beverages, you can ask your barkeep to whip up a mocktail or grab some alcohol-free spirits for your liquor cabinet at home.

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Making sodas a consistent part of your routine


"Sodas infused with artificial sweeteners contribute to the cell aging process," says Lawson. "Beverages high in sugar affect the major proteins of your skin, elastin, and collagen that keep your skin elastic and youthful."

"Apart from it, sugars also cause low-grade chronic inflammation that increases your risk of obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and hence making you develop serious illnesses at an early age," she says.

Don't feel like you have to ditch these bubbly drinks completely. Try incorporating 25 Healthy, Low-Sugar Soda Alternatives into your life to keep enjoying the great taste of soda with much less risk.

Drinking too much caffeine

drinking coffee

"Too much caffeine dehydrates the body, causes inflammation, and result in loss of collagen," says Lawson. "All of these factors collectively form wrinkles and acne. The heavy consumption of caffeine decreases the amount of newly formed collagen in the skin cells and thus makes you age faster."

"Also, caffeine slows down the healing process that affects your health significantly," she says. "Many caffeinated beverages also include high amounts of sugar and daily products that again result in premature aging."

If you think you rely on caffeine a bit too much, you can always replace a cup of coffee or tea with a decaf version and slowly ween back on this powerful stimulant.

Not properly hydrating


Not drinking enough water throughout the day can lead to some serious problems down the road. "Dehydration leads to headache, dizziness, and nausea which is exacerbated by inflammation," Lisa Richards, CNC creator of The Candida Diet said.

The Mayo Clinic recommends drinking an average of 8 glasses of water per day. Take heart, knowing that some of this amount can come from water-rich food and other small sources throughout the day.

Drinking caffeinated beverages that have high sugar content

energy drink

Sugary coffees and energy drinks can end up wreaking havoc on your health.

"The combination [of caffeine and sugar] can generate excess stimulation of the sympathetic nervous system causing an increase in heart rate, hypertension, and cortisol release," says Dr. Barry Sears.

Don't let this perfect storm of symptoms affect you. Cut down on this problem by avoiding high-sugar energy drinks and replace them with The Best Energy Drinks for 2021, According to Dietitians for an added boost that can get you through the day without making you feel terrible.

Erich Barganier
Erich Barganier is a health and food writer. Read more about Erich
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