17/11/2010 05:37 GMT | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

Cheers! Why Drinking Could Help You Stay Healthier For Longer

A glass or two a day can keep you healthy A glass or two a day can keep you healthy. Photo: Flickr, hzeller

There's good news for women who like to kick off their shoes and pour themselves a long one at the end of the day. Those who drink alcohol on most days are more likely to be healthier as they get older than women who only indulge once or twice a week, say scientists.

In addition to the other well-documented benefits of drinking a moderate amount of alcohol, the Harvard University researchers suggest there's a clear advantage to having a drink on a regular basis rather than just at weekends. Having one or two drinks nearly every day of the week makes you 28% more likely to age more successfully, they claim. And that means avoiding serious illnesses as you get older, including heart disease, cancer and memory problems.

One of the reasons why that might work is if you have just one or two drinks a day, rather than all your alcohol over two days at the weekend, you won't suffer any ill-effects caused by binge drinking.

But before you crack open another bottle, researchers elsewhere have a warning for people who mix alcohol with energy drinks. According to a study due to be published early next year in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, young people who knock back energy drinks are more likely to become dependent on alcohol, thanks to the fact that the caffeine in energy drinks masks the effects of alcohol. In other words, thanks to the caffeine you don't think you're getting drunk - so you drink even more.

How many drinks do you have in an average week?

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