Most of us will head out on a night out at least once in a while if not more and often alcoholic drinks will be the usual but how much do you know about the effects of alcohol? It’s health implications or even what’s in the stuff your drinking?
What’s in your drink?
Alcohol plays a part in many of our lives, yet it’s surprising how little people know about its contents.
Did you know that a glass of wine can have the same calories as four cookies? How about a pint of lager – surprised to hear it’s often the calorific equivalent of a slice of pizza?
How much is too much?
There’s a sliding scale of drinking too much but it starts at a much lower volume than most people would expect. When does enjoying a drink tip over into something to be concerned about?
The NHS recommends:
- Men should not regularly drink more than 3-4 units of alcohol a day
- Women should not regularly drink more than 2-3 units a day
- If you’ve had a heavy drinking session, avoid alcohol for 48 hours
Why don’t you check you levels on the drink aware calculator here.
What can be the problems of drinking too much?
Most people who have alcohol-related health problems aren’t alcoholics. They’re simply people who have regularly drunk more than the recommended levels for some years. Alcohol’s hidden harms usually only emerge after a number of years. And by then, serious health problems can have developed.
Liver problems, reduced fertility, high blood pressure, increased risk of various cancers and heart attack are some of the numerous harmful effects of regularly drinking more than the recommended levels.
Simple tips for cutting down:
Cut down together. Make a commitment to drink less with friends, family and colleagues – you can remind each other of the benefits if your motivation wanes.
Ditch the rounds. Rounds encourage you to drink at the speed of the fastest drinker, which means you could be drinking far more than you really want.
Go for quality over quantity. Order half pints or bottles of beer or go for the smallest glass of wine. Sticking to drinks with a lower ABV (alcohol by volume) than your usual tipple means you consume less alcohol overall.
Choose the soft option. Ring the changes at your dinner table by having water, juice or a soft drink with your meals rather than a glass of wine.
Take some days off. Give your liver a rest by taking a couple of alcohol-free days each week.