How to Drink Alcohol Safely and Sensibly
Know what you’re getting
- A normal glass of wine or sherry, a single measure of spirits and half a pint of beer each contain about one unit, or 8g (1/4oz) of alcohol.
- A large glass of red or white wine or half a pint of cider contains about 12g (3/8oz), or one and a half units.
- Strong lager may contain as much as two units per half pint.
What’s the limit?
Twenty-one units a week is considered a safe limit for men. Women tend to weigh less and have a smaller proportion of water in their bodies, so a drink raises their level of blood alcohol more. For them, the limit is 14 units a week. Pregnant women are advised not to drink at all as even small amounts of alcohol may harm an unborn baby.
Tips for safer drinking
- If you’re very thirsty, have a non-alcoholic drink first.
- Avoid alcohol during the working day.
- Eat something before you take a drink, or have your drink with a meal.
- Choose low-alcohol or non-alcoholic drinks sometimes.
- Add a splash of mineral water to your glass of wine.
- Drink slowly – put the glass down after each sip.
- Don’t be persuaded to ‘have one for the road’.
TRUE OR FALSE?
WHITE WINE IS LESS FATTENING THAN RED WINE?
False. Only dry white wine has fewer calories than red wine, but the difference is not enough to have any effect on your weight (94 Calories compared with 97). Other whites all have more: medium has 107, sweet has 133 and sparkling whites 108 Calories.
CLEAR SPIRITS ARE LESS LIKELY TO GIVE YOU A HANGOVER?
True. Gin, vodka and other clear drinks contain fewer of the additives used to give taste and colour (called ‘congeners’), which are thought to be the cause of many hangover symptoms. For the same reason, white wine tends to cause fewer problems than red.
MIXING DRINKS MAKES YOU DRUNKER?
False. It’s the number of alcohol units you consume that makes you drunk, not how you get them. Mixing often gets blamed because it tends to happen when people are drinking more in any case.