When You Drink Rum Every Night, This Is What Happens To Your Body

Do you like piña coladas and getting caught in the rain? If you said yes, chances are you're a fan of rum, which is the reason why piña coladas make you feel intoxicated. But rum isn't exclusive to just one cocktail, as it's the alcohol of choice for everything from mojitos to mai tais to hurricanes. So if you're soaking in a pool with an umbrella drink in your hand, raise a glass to rum.

You don't have to be on vacation on a tropical island to appreciate rum, either, as you can easily prepare a rum drink at home or score one at your neighborhood bar. Certainly if you're looking for a way to unwind at happy hour after work, there's no shortage of rum-based options to whet your palate.

So are you someone who appreciates rum to the tune of enjoying it every night? Curious as to what that might be doing to your body? Read on to find out exactly what happens to it when you drink rum on a daily basis.

If you drink rum every night, you can boost your mood

There's a reason that happy hour is called happy hour: After a hard day at the office or at the job site, you can finally unwind and enjoy discount food and alcoholic beverages at your favorite restaurant or bar. And although that might be enough in and of itself to make you happy, the rum helps too, as noted by Laura Krebs-Holm, a registered dietitian. "Like most alcoholic beverages, rum can help you relax," she explained to The List. "Additionally, many people enjoy a drink in the company of others, which can also help to improve mood." Certainly that could tempt anyone to drink rum every night.

So what's the specific mechanism at work that makes rum drinks such a mood booster? According to Live Science, drinking alcohol causes your body to release endorphins, which are chemicals that induce a pleasurable response in certain areas of the brain. Hence the warm glow you feel after a rum runner or two.

But if you drink rum every night, you may worsen your depression

Have you ever noticed that the first thing you do when you're feeling stressed out is reach for a glass of rum every night? That could be due to some flawed messaging you're receiving, according to Amanda A. Kostro Miller, a registered dietitian. "Unfortunately, society tells us that having alcohol can help us calm ourselves when we're in a time of trouble," she told The List. "We see people on TV and in movies using alcohol to help relax."

But that might not be the best way to deal with your woes, even though it might seem like it is at first. "While yes, in the moment you may feel 'better' and 'happy-go-lucky,' alcohol causes several issues that appear later on in the night or the next day," Kostro Miller continued. "Alcohol can also depress your mood. Couple a depressed mood with stress (or existing depression) and you may find yourself in a terrible rut." And that's not a good situation to be in.

If you choose rum over other drinks, you may lose weight

Are you like half of all Americans and attempting to stick to a diet in order to drop unwanted pounds? If so, making rum your alcohol of choice just might aid you in that process, as noted by certified personal trainer Christopher Clarke. "Losing weight is a question of cutting calories in order to shed weight, so making the right selection of alcohol drinks with less calories will help you achieve that goal," he shared with The List. "Thus consuming rum in comparison to other alcoholic drinks...would be a preferred choice when counting calories."

Specifically, here's how rum stacks up in comparison to other alcoholic beverages, according to the National Institutes of Health. One serving of rum (1.5 fl. oz.) has 97 calories, as do gin, vodka, whiskey, and tequila. However, one serving of beer (12 fl.oz) has 153 calories, and one serving of red wine (5 fl. oz.) has 125 calories. A 1.5 fl. oz. serving of sweetened liqueur has a whopping 165 calories, as does sweetened wine. So you can see why plain rum is a better choice than most other alcoholic beverages, diet-wise — that is, when you compare calories per serving.

But if you drink rum every night, you can gain weight

Just because drinking rum instead of beverages like beer, wine, and sweetened cocktails might be a better choice for your waistline, that doesn't mean drinking rum every night will make you lose weight. In fact, you might find yourself gaining weight if you drink rum every night, according to registered dietitian Amanda A. Kostro Miller. "You may be more inclined to overeat," she revealed to The List. "Alcohol may make you eat a late night heavy meal or just make you forget about any health/weight goals/calorie intake goals you may be striving to follow." So if you're eating well all day, then dig into a big bag of chips after having a rum and diet coke or two, one of the best cheap mixed drinks to order at a bar, you're less likely to stay trim.

On top of that, if you're really working hard to stick to a healthy eating routine, sabotaging that can come with additional problems. "Not being able to successfully accomplish your health/nutrition/weight loss goals may be stress-inducing for some people," Kostro Miller added.

You may improve your heart health if you drink rum every night

Cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control. To that end, if you're invested in looking after your heart health, it's wise to mind your diet, get some exercise, and not drink too much alcohol. All of those factors play a huge role in keeping your ticker in shipshape.

Fortunately there's a little bit of good news for folks who drink rum in moderation, as noted by Laura Krebs-Holm, a registered dietitian. "The moderate consumption of alcohol has been tied to a few indicators for heart health," she explained to The List. "It is thought that like other distilled spirits, rum may help act as a blood thinner and prevent blood clots. It is also tied to lower blood pressure, and higher rates of HDL, or 'good' cholesterol.'"

It's important to note that this benefit only comes with moderate consumption, so, if you're knocking back multiple rum drinks every night, that would no longer be the case.

This is what happens to your blood pressure when you drink rum every night

As registered dietician Laura Krebs-Holm pointed out, drinking rum in moderation — which is one serving per day or evening — can have a positive impact on your blood pressure. But if you're overdoing it, the opposite can be the case, according to Dr. Sheldon Steps, emeritus professor of medicine and a former chair of the Division of Nephrology and Hypertension in the Department of Medicine at Mayo Clinic. "Drinking too much alcohol can raise blood pressure to unhealthy levels," he penned in an FAQ for the Mayo Clinic. "Having more than three drinks in one sitting temporarily increases your blood pressure, but repeated binge drinking can lead to long-term increases."

Fortunately Steps has some advice for drinkers who are looking to decrease their blood pressure. "Heavy drinkers who cut back to moderate drinking can lower their systolic blood pressure (the top number in a blood pressure reading) by 2 to 4 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) and their diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number in a blood pressure reading) by 1 to 2 mm Hg." That's some good news!

If you drink rum every night, it might help you fight diabetes

According to an article in the highly respected journal The Lancet, approximately eight percent of the world's population has type 2 diabetes, which is hundreds of millions of people. And as the CDC notes, over 30 million of those individuals live in the United States, along with over 80 million people with pre-diabetes.

If you're one of the folks included in that statistic, there's good news: Drinking alcohol in moderation — such as one serving of rum every night — can help you manage your diabetes. That's because it can reduce your insulin resistance, according to studies in the journals Diabetes Care, Circulation, and DiabetologiaAnd if you have that drink with dinner (as opposed to water, for example), you can cut blood sugar rise by 16 to 37 percent, according to an article in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

Bear in mind that if you overdo it and drink heavily, your risk of getting type 2 diabetes rises, according an article in Diabetes Care. Clearly quantity really matters when it comes to choosing to drink rum every night!

The quality of your sleep may worsen if you drink rum every night

If you drink rum every night, chances are you have a specific reason for doing so. Perhaps you like the buzz you get, or perhaps you find it helps you unwind and settle into an evening routine. Or maybe you just enjoy having a nice adult beverage after dinner to put an end to the day, and mojitos are your thing.

But if you're someone who uses your rum nightcap to fall asleep, there's some good and bad news for you, according to registered dietitian Amanda A. Kostro Miller. "Alcohol can help you knock out faster," she told The List. "However, it prevents deep, effective sleep. Alcohol disrupts deep sleep, so not only may you be hungover after a night of drinking, but you may also feel sick and lack a good night's sleep!" 

So if you're noticing that you feel more sluggish in the morning after drinking rum at night, there's your culprit.

You might have a hangover in the morning if you drink rum every night

If you drink rum every night and always go hard with it, there's a good chance you might wind up with a hangover the next morning. And as noted by Dr. Regina Krel, a headache medicine specialist at Hackensack University Medical Center, there's a lot going on when you have a hangover. "The actual mechanism of what happens during a hangover is still not clear but is thought to be a result of the toxicity of acetaldehyde on the body, changes in electrolytes, dehydration, and low blood sugar," she penned in an article for Hackensack Meridian Health. "The most common symptoms during a hangover include headache, nausea, dizziness, feeling sleepy or sluggish." Yuck.

So if you wake up every morning with a hangover, you may want to cut back on the amount of rum you drink every night. Additionally, make sure you're eating enough while drinking, as well as avoiding sugars and drinking plenty of water — those actions can help you prevent a hangover, according to the Mayo Clinic. And fortunately there are a few breakfasts that can help cure your hangover that you can enjoy the next morning like breakfast tacos.

If your drink rum every night, you may build a tolerance to it

Have you chosen to drink rum every night for some time? If so, have you noticed that you need to drink a bit more than you used to in order to feel its effects? If that's the case, then you're far from the outlier, according to registered dietitian Laura Krebs-Holm. "Many people find that if they drink alcohol regularly, they do not feel the effects of alcohol as keenly with one or two drinks," she shared with The List. "However, health benefits have only been linked to moderate alcohol consumption, which is one drink for women, and two drinks for men."

So if you've noticed that you do in fact need more rum to feel bubbly and happy, chances are your alcohol tolerance is higher than it used to be. And since a high tolerance is a major risk factor of alcoholism, according to CBS News, you might want to talk to your doctor if you're concerned it's too high.

If you drink rum every night, you might become dependent on it

If you drink rum every night, not only are you at risk of raising your tolerance, but you're also at risk of becoming physically or psychologically dependent on it. In fact, approximately 12 percent of Americans are or have been dependent on alcohol at some point in their lives, according to an article in the Archives of General Psychiatry. That's a pretty startling statistic!

However, not everyone who drinks rum in excess will develop an alcohol dependence. That's because factors such as your genetics, mental health, social environment, and family history can also play a large role, according to Healthline.

But if you find yourself unable to say no to a drink or losing your self-control when you do drink, you might be dealing with some form of alcohol dependence. Once again, you should talk to your doctor if you're concerned about your alcohol consumption. 

If you drink rum every night, you can damage your liver

Your liver is a pretty incredible organ. According to Dr. Hellan Kwon, a clinical assistant professor of hepatology at the University of Michigan, it's responsible for performing a whopping 500 tasks that help to regulate your bodily function. "Anything that is eaten or consumed, whether it's food, alcohol, medicine or toxins, gets filtered by the liver," she explained in an interview with Michigan Health. "Once we ingest food, it is digested by the stomach and intestine, [then] gets absorbed into the blood and goes to the liver." Essentially, your liver is your number one defense against toxins.

Unfortunately for rum aficionados, drinking too much alcohol of any kind — including rum — can damage your liver, as noted by registered dietitian Laura Krebs-Holm. "Chronic excessive drinking can lead to alcoholism, fatty liver disease, and cirrhosis," she told The List. So once again, make sure, if you drink rum, that you're drinking in moderation, as it's key in protecting your body from harm.

Your brain function may be impaired if you drink rum every night

When you drink rum every night — and a lot of it — it doesn't just tax the liver, as it can also have some short-term impacts on the brain, as noted by Dr. Regina Krel, a headache medicine specialist at Hackensack University Medical Center. "Alcohol is a depressant to our bodies," she wrote in an article for Hackensack Meridian Health. "Some of the visible symptoms you are used to seeing in someone who's drunk — slurred speech, loss of coordination, falling, loss of inhibition, passing out — all of these side effects are a result of our brain cells communicating at a slower rate."

Additionally, drinking too much rum can also cause long-term damage on your brain and nervous system. "Since alcohol consumption impacts the hippocampus, the part of the brain involved in memory formation, overuse can result in memory impairment," Krel continued. "Alcohol is also toxic to the nerves outside of the brain and the nervous system which can result in the loss of sensation of your hands and feet, known as neuropathy." Yikes!

You might increase your cancer risk if you drink rum every night

If you feel like the medical advice available about having one or two drinks per day has done a 180, you'd be right, according to Dr. Sarah M. Hartz, a physician and scientist at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. "It used to seem like having one or two drinks per day was no big deal, and there even have been some studies suggesting it can improve health," she shared in an interview with Medical News Today. "But now we know that even the lightest daily drinkers have an increased mortality risk." That means that even one serving of rum every night has adverse effects on your health.

So even though there are some health benefits that come with light alcohol consumption, newer information has changed the game. "Consuming one or two drinks about four days per week seemed to protect against cardiovascular disease, but drinking every day eliminated those benefits," Hartz continued. "With regard to cancer risk, any drinking at all was detrimental." Boo!

So, if you drink rum every night, you may want to cut back.