Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

My plans for the Fourth this year included waking up early to work out and bleaching and toning my hair (riveting, I know.) 

But a peach cosmopolitan at dinner last night derailed all that for me. I spent the holiday with a hangover: groggy, upset stomach, unmotivated, and exhausted. 

Yep, just four or so ounces of peach vodka, Cointreau, and lime juice turned me into a complete Walking Dead extra last night upon arriving home and caused me to wake up pretty much every hour last night with a queasy stomach. 

Now here I sit after 6 PM writing this on July 4, 2023, disgusted with myself for giving in to temptation last night and allowing alcohol to ruin what should have been a productive day off from work. 

Just one drink. I know I'm not in my 20s anymore, but why should one little cocktail hit me nearly as hard as the time I overdid THC gummies?

The answer is I'm old(er). And us older folks can't hold our liquor!

It's true; I Googled "aging and alcohol tolerance" and that's when I discovered the nasty truth that I never heard about growing older before: as you age, you're less able to metabolize alcohol. And that can make you feel even drunker as that alcohol infiltrates your bloodstream, which is what happened to me last night. A powerful punch!

Our body loses muscle, gains fat, and that makes our water content decrease which makes it tougher for alcohol to work its way through our system. 

Our liver and stomach are also not producing the same levels of an alcohol-digesting enzyme as they did when we were younger. 

Needless to say, this can have dangerous consequences if you get behind the wheel of a car. But the news gets worse: alcohol consumption can accelerate aging, literally contributing to brain shrinkage. 

Anyways, I had to stop reading what Harvard Health Publishing had to say by that point. 

Call me clueless, but I never knew. And the water and meal I had with the drink didn't do anything to lessen the effects. 

Not to mention alcoholic beverages contain sugar and extra calories that my menopausal stomach just doesn't need. I also paid $16 for this concoction. It definitely wasn't worth that much and certainly not worth its lasting after effects. 

Of course, alcohol tolerance is different for everyone. I've always been a lightweight, so it really shouldn't surprise me to know now how alcohol affects me. I've known women that could drink two espresso martinis at night and have no problem sleeping. 

For me though, it's lesson learned and I'll have a smaller dinner bill next time. Tomorrow it's back to work and back to working out. 

Stay flashy (and sober!), my friends!

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