Maybe it's just me but has anyone else noticed they are less able to handle even a small amount of alcohol once peri-menopause has started? Maybe you are not aware that being less able to process alcohol is one of the many symptoms of peri-menopause?
Now I love a glass of wine. A glass of red with a steak on an evening out. A glass or two of prosecco with friends. A crisp, cold white on a summer evening or a light and refreshing rosé or kir royale on holiday. I rarely drink anything else, very occasionally a G&T but I have never liked beer or any other spirits. In fact I didn't really drink much at all until I was in my 30's and even then never to excess - three glasses and that's my lot!!
When I first started noticing problems I thought that I'd make sure I only ever had two glasses max. But then that started affecting me too. Now I have to have one glass only or really none at all - or accept that I will have a sleepless night and feel pretty rough the next day.
Prosecco is lighter and has 'less' alcohol so that is better for me but one glass of red is just so nice with a steak?! I tried alcohol-free wine but I wasn't impressed. I'd like to try some low-alcohol wines but am I that bothered really?
Why do I drink?
For me it is now simply a social thing. We eat out quite a lot. Usually in good restaurants, we are minor 'foodies' so enjoy the whole experience of a good restaurant, good food and fine wine. Favourite places ... The Coach in Marlow, The Waterside Inn at Bray, The Ivy Marlow Garden.
I used to drink to relax - yes I know - 'wine o'clock' or 'it's Friday evening' or 'it's the weekend' or simply let's open a bottle for no reason whatsoever.
When I did The Body Coach Plan I gave it up. It was fairly easy as I wanted to lose weight and feel better. But slowly it crept back in, although not at home. We have a small stock of wine that has not been touched for two years. Laithwaites keep calling me and every time I say no we don't need any.
The impact of alcohol on menopausal symptoms
For me it is the increase in night sweats and insomnia. I simply can't sleep. I get too hot and have a very restless night. Then when I 'wake' in the morning I feel absolutely dreadful and this can have an effect for two days after. This then has an effect on my mood and anxiety.
And of course weight gain - although I probably don't drink enough for it to have much effect and I do try to log the calories in MFP but I can often feel much more bloated and inflamed after a few drinks and a sleepless night. My body simply can't process the alcohol any more. And it is very common among menopausal women it seems.
Everyone is different and you might not be affected in the same way. I'd love to hear your experience though. Do my symptoms sound familiar to you? Have you given up alcohol or cut down a lot since starting peri-menopause?
Well I am cutting down further. Two glasses on the odd night out is still a too much and even one glass can affect my already poor ability to sleep. The late night doesn't help either and the more we drink the more relaxed we get and so common sense disappears and you have the dessert and you stay up late (and sod the consequences) then the next morning I feel dreadful and think why!? A glass or two at lunchtime is better for me as by the evening the effects have worn off. Prosecco is also better!
But to be honest I really don't need to drink - none of us do!!! It is just social pressure and I need to learn to say 'no thank you'. But I do enjoy the odd glass and I do enjoy the social side of it. I admit it is relaxing but only 'in the moment' not at 3 am or the next day!
I hear that 'low alcohol beers' are getting much better - but I don't drink beer. I'm pretty sure it is rare to find 'low alcohol wine' in a bar or restaurant. I quite like an alcohol-free cocktail. I've yet to try Seedlip (the world's first distilled non-alcohol spirit) - have you? Someone recommended it to me but it isn't yet served in many establishments.
I did a little research online and found this information about lower alcohol wines (Source: Real Simple).
Very Low (Under 12.5 Percent)
Sparkling: Italian Asti, Italian Prosecco.
White: French Vouvray and Muscadet, German Riesling, Portuguese Vinho Verde, Spanish Txacolina.
Rosé: California White Zinfandel, Portuguese rosés.
Moderately Low (12.5 to 13.5 Percent)
Sparkling: California sparkling wine, French Champagne, Spanish Cava.
White: Austrian Grüner Veltliner, Australian Riesling, French Alsace white, French Loire and Bordeaux whites, French white Burgundy, Italian Pinot Grigio, New York Riesling, New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, Oregon Pinot Gris, South African Sauvignon Blanc, Spanish Albarino.
Rosé: French rosés, Spanish rosés.
Red: French Beaujolais and Burgundy, French Bordeaux, Italian Chianti, Spanish Rioja.
But I am not sure I will whip out my notes when ordering wine in a restaurant!? I will just need to try and remember (oh now there's another symptom of peri-menopause - brain fog and dodgy memory)!
I'd love to hear from you - maybe you have a great 'wine alternative' you can recommend?
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