Be Merry but Safe this Christmas

What with family get togethers, work meals and festive trips to the pub, it can be hard to watch your alcohol intake over Christmas. It’s important to remember however to stay within safe drinking limits while having fun. Binge drinking can have serious health consequences, from alcohol poisoning to a higher risk of accidents and depression.

Start the new year with your health and wallet intact by following some simple guidelines for safe drinking:

  • Know your limits. Men should not regularly exceed 3 – 4 units of alcohol a day, and women should not exceed 2 – 3 units.

  • Avoid binge drinking. Binge drinking is considered to be more than double the daily unit guidelines for alcohol in one session. So for women, this is more than 6 units of alcohol, or more than 8 units for a man. This is the equivalent of more than three pints of strong beer for a man, or more than two large glasses of wine for a woman.

  • Know the number of units in your drink. A regular glass of wine (175ml) which is 14% ABV is 2.4 units. A pint of beer is similar at 2.3 units. A single 25ml measure of 40% spirit such as vodka contains 3.3 units.

  • Remember that alcoholic drinks are calorific. Avoid having to go on a new year crash diet by drinking sensibly throughout the festive period. A pint of beer has 182 calories (requiring 18 minutes of running to burn off!).

  • If you think you are at risk of drinking too much, have a strategy in place. For example, ask for a smaller 125 ml glass of wine, or a single instead of a double shot of spirit. Drink slowly and have a glass of water or soft drink every other alcoholic drink to stay hydrated, and avoid shots. If you are at a party, you can try to pour your own drinks so you know how strong they are.

If you think you have a problem with the amount you drink, there is help available. Visit your GP, or call Drinkline on 0800 917 8282.

More resources

DrinkAware have launched an App to help you track the units and calories in drink, and set goals to moderate your drinking. 

Anatomystuff has a range of free poster downloads that include information on the alcoholic content of popular drinks. 

Our range of alcohol education models for professionals includes the popular ‘Drunk & Dangerous Glasses™ and "What Is A Unit?" Alcohol Education Display.

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