There is nothing wrong with having the occasional drink, but drinking too much can cause problems. Alcohol is high in calories and can cause weight gain. Heavy alcohol consumption on a regular basis can lead to a wide range of health problems such as cancer, liver disease, stroke, high blood pressure and can affect mental health and depression.
Current UK Recommended Alcohol Consumption Safe Limits (2014).
• Women can drink up to 2-3 units of alcohol per day.
• Men can drink up to 3-4 units without significant risk to their health.
• Consistently drinking above these safe limits can increase your health risks.
• Ideally spread your drinking over the week.
• Avoid binge drinking especially at the weekend.
• If you have drunk too much try avoiding alcohol for the next 48 hours to give your body a chance to recovery.
½ pint beer, lager or cider (3-4% ABV)
1 single measure of spirit (25ml)
300mls standard medium cider
125mls glass (8% ABV) wine
1 single measure of port, or sherry
1 ½ units:
125mls glass wine (12% ABV)
½ pint special strong lager (7% ABV))
1 pint ordinary beer (3-4% ABV)
Typical home-poured measure of spirits (50mls)
Recent research has shown that alcohol consumption at low levels does not appear to pose health problems for most people. There is evidence that moderate drinkers have less incidence of coronary heart disease than those who don’t drink at all. They also live longer, with less risk of Alzheimer’s, impaired cognitive function and cancer. It has been suggested that phytochemicals found in red wine may provide a protective benefit. Although, recent researchers have demonstrated that the protective effects are due to ethanol in moderation in alcohol. Therefore, little and often seems to be the key for health benefits, taking one drink with a meal may provide optimum benefit.
Tips to help cut down
• Always try to eat something before you start drinking.
• Don’t drink alcohol if you are thirsty quench your thirst with water or a non-alcoholic drink first.
• Alternate between a non-alcoholic and alcoholic drink through the evening.
• Ask for water with meals.
• Check the strength of drinks (choose lowest ABV value with beers and lagers).
• Be careful with unit sizes as many people think they are drinking one unit of alcohol when the drink a glass of wine at home and only too often it can easily be 1 ½ to 2 units.
Alcohol consumption when pregnant:
If trying to get pregnant or pregnant, it is probably better to stop drinking altogether, or if you drink try and limit to only one to two units once, or twice per week. While breastfeeding avoid drinking alcohol altogether as it will pass through the breast milk.
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Tags: alcohol consumption, binge, calories, drinking, health