Drinking alcohol is seen by many as a normal part of socialising with friends and family. It is often significant in celebrations such as weddings and birthdays, and some people find a drink after a busy day provides stress relief.
However, drinking too much alcohol can cause a number of health problems, including:
- raised blood pressure
- stroke, and
- liver disease.
Cutting down on drinking can reduce your calorie intake and help you lose weight, reduce your spending and improve your sleep and overall wellbeing.
Hints and tips
- Try to stick to safer drinking levels – new guidance released by the Chief Medical Officer in January 2016 says that both men and women should not regularly drink more than 2-3 units of alcohol a day.
- Keep a drinks diary – you can track your alcohol consumption using the DrinkAware mobile phone app and see how many calories are in your drinks.
- Have at least 2 alcohol free days every week.
- After a heavy drinking session, avoid alcohol for 48 hours.
- Have something to eat beforehand – alcohol on an empty stomach makes you drunk more quickly.
- Space out your drinks and have a soft drink in between.
- Plan your journeys to and from an event where you may consume alcohol. Check for public transport using TfL's Journey Planner and use licensed cabs – text HOME to 60835 for a list of licensed cab numbers.
- If you want to cut down, try doing it with a friend – moral support can be motivational.
Calculating units of alcohol isn't always easy – it depends on the type and strength of drink and how much of it you have. Here's some guidance to help you:
|Wine – small glass (ABV 12%)||125ml||1.5|
|Wine – standard glass (ABV 12%)||175ml||2.1|
|Wine – large glass (ABV 12%)||250ml||3|
|Lager/beer/cider – bottle (ABV 5%)||330ml||1.7|
|Lager/beer/cider – can (ABV 4.5%)||440ml||2|
|Lager/beer/cider – pint (ABV 3.6%)||1 pint||2|
|Strong lager/beer/cider – pint (ABV 5.2%)||1 pint||3|
|Alcopop – bottle (ABV 4.5%)||275ml||1.5|
|Spirits – single shot (ABV 40%)