As we draw closer to the festive period filled with Christmas parties and celebrations, sensible drinking is something that we should all be thinking about. Sensible drinking means not drinking more than the recommended levels of alcohol each week and knowing when enough is enough. Let’s take a look at some of the ways that you can stay safe and stick to sensible drinking this winter.
What are the limits?
Sensible drinking is all based on knowing what your drinking limits are. Although it’s not possible to be precise about how much alcohol is classed as safe, sensible drinking will ensure that you don’t damage your body. If you regularly drink alcohol, current guidelines, current guidelines recommend that you don’t drink more than 14 units of alcohol per week. If you know that you consume this amount or possibly more, to ensure you drink sensibly, you should consider spreading your units out over at least three days of the week. Rather than consuming more in one go, a great way to maintain sensible drinking habits is to cut back your intake by having some drink-free days every week.
If you’re an occasional drinker, it’s still important to make sure that when you go out, sensible drinking is a factor you consider for both you and those you’re with. Drinking too much, too quickly or on an empty stomach is not sensible drinking as it can increase your risk of accidents, injury and compromise your self-control. Sensible drinking can be achieved by:
- Limiting the amount of alcohol you consume at any one time
- Drinking slowly and alternating between alcohol and water or soft drinks
- Making sure you eat before you drink alcohol
- Drink in a safe environment with people you trust
How do units work?
Sensible drinking can be achieved by knowing how many units are in your drink and what your body can process. The units of alcohol in different drinks vary and it’s also rare that the regular measure of your drink will contain only one unit. It’s also key to note that the same type of drink can vary in strength depending on the brand. Trying not to exceed 14 units of alcohol per week is a good way to maintain sensible drinking habits, so it’s important to know how many units are in your chosen drink. There are lots of online resources where you can calculate how many units are in your drink, but here are just a few common ones to help you wise up:
- One 25ml (single) measure of spirit at 37.5% ABV is equal to one unit.
- A 175ml (medium) glass of red wine at 12% ABV is equal to two units.
- A pint of beer at 5% ABV contains 2.8 units.
- A pint of cider at 6% ABV contains 3.4 units.
Sensible drinking habits
Getting into sensible drinking habits is much easier than you think. Listening to your body and taking in some of these tips will help you have a better night out without feeling bad the morning after. Eating is incredibly important as it ensures that alcohol is absorbed more slowly by your body, so having a starchy and filling meal is a great place to start. Sensible drinking habits can be selecting a spritzer or shandy over something stronger to help you water down and dilute the amount of alcohol in your drink. If you don’t want to opt for something diluted, then remember your measures. Choosing smaller measures, single spirits and bottles over pints will help you take care of your body. One sensible drinking habit to take on is avoiding rounds. Don’t try to keep up with other people and don’t be pressured into drinking quicker than you feel comfortable with, and encourage your friends to do the same.
Swap in soft drinks between alcoholic drinks and keep tabs on how much you’re drinking to ensure you don’t overdo it. When out and about during the festive season, it’s also important to keep an eye on others and help them out or offer advice if you feel that they’re putting sensible drinking on the backburner.
At Protectus, we know how important it is to take care of your health. With a health insurance policy by your side, you can help keep on top of your good health in more ways than one to ensure you make some real progress during a season that’s often more indulgent than most. Contact us for peace of mind over the future of your health and ensure you have access to treatment as and when you need.