Wine in the evening? Is that good?
Or is it fermenting in my stomach while I sleep?

There is a lot going on in our intestines. Especially in the large intestine live many microorganisms, about 10 trillion intestinal bacteria. This intestinal flora helps us digest fiber, neutralizes toxins, strengthens our immune defenses and produces vitamins that are important for us (biotin, folic acid, riboflavin as well as vitamin B12 and vitamin K). Absorbed sugar (carbohydrates) is broken down by bacterial fermentation processes. This process produces gases that can cause bloating, nausea, belching, flatulence and even diarrhea. Sweet foods and carbohydrate-rich beverages such as apple juice, sparkling wine or beer intensify this process. Dry white wine has little residual sugar and is therefore more digestible in the evening.

Why do I feel better
after I have drunk a glass of wine?

Alcohol has an effect on our body, that is undisputed. But how it affects us depends primarily on the amount.

Under the influence of alcohol, we initially relax, we become more relaxed and disinhibited, we are euphoric and simply in a good mood.

This effect is mediated by messenger substances in the brain. The stimulating stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol and the happiness hormones serotonin and dopamine are released. In addition, the activating messenger glutamate is dampened and the inhibitory effect of GABA is enhanced. The latter explains the relaxing effect. However, with increasing amounts of alcohol, our ability to react gradually dwindles and we become tired. One glass too many causes loss of balance, risk-taking increases and pronunciation becomes slurred. In small quantities and not on a regular basis, wine is definitely a stimulant. However, it is not suitable for targeted stress reduction or for lifting the mood. Here I recommend meditation or sports, for example – and only pour the wine into the glass when we already feel good.

Zeichnung eines Mannes

Wine in the evening? Will I sleep better then?

Wine in the evening makes us tired depending on the amount. Our brain activity is lowered so that thoughts no longer circle endlessly and we forget the stress of the day. Soon the necessary bedtime sleepiness comes, we actually fall asleep easier with alcohol. Alcohol has a stabilizing effect on sleep in the first half of the night. However, in the second half of the night, the opposite effect can occur. Our sleep can become restless and we can wake up. Alcohol also increases the urge to urinate, we lose water and may have to go to the bathroom at night.

So wine is certainly not a suitable sleep aid and certainly not on a regular basis. If we do enjoy wine on a relaxing evening, don’t forget to drink plenty of water in between. In good time before going to bed, we should then stop drinking alcohol and consciously prepare ourselves for sleep. So nothing stands in the way of a restful night.

How much wine is safe? Am I at risk of addiction?

There are major individual differences on this question. Basically, it can be said that women break down alcohol more slowly than men. The female liver is smaller and contains less of the enzyme alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) needed for this. In addition, the water content and the distribution volume of women’s bodies are lower, which is why the blood alcohol concentration is higher than for men for the same amount drunk. The rule of thumb for women is just under a glass of beer or two eight-ounce glasses of wine, and for men a bottle of beer or three eight-ounce glasses of wine daily as a limit that is not problematic from a health point of view.

However, we should not drink alcohol on a daily basis. On suitable occasions, preferably in company and in moderation, alcohol is certainly harmless. We should not drink wine to have a nice moment, but to make it perfect.