So, how can you make sure you don’t drink too much?
The place where your children are most likely to absorb what you’re up to is at home – and it’s where we do most of our relaxation, socialising and drinking. It’s often all too easy for the drinks to add up without you realising – These tips might help ensure you drink sensibly when you’re at home or with friends and be good role models.
Units and mixing
The amount of alcohol in drinks can be confusing, so keep an eye on how many units are in your drink. Many drinks carry unit icons on the packaging or back labels to help you keep a tab on your intake. To give you an idea, a glass of wine can contain anything from 1.5 units for a small glass of sparkling wine at 11%, to 4 units for a 250ml glass at 14%.
A double vodka or whisky will contain 2 units, but home pours of spirits are usually more generous and you could be drinking much more than you realised.
Try alternating alcohol drinks with soft drinks – you’ll stay more hydrated and give your liver a chance to break down the alcohol. Watch out for ‘top ups’ too – you can kid yourself that you’re still on the same drink. Empty your glass first before having another drink, so you can keep more of a tally on your intake.
Having friends over
If you’re mixing your own drinks, make sure they’re not too strong – home pours are usually much larger and glasses bigger too. Use plenty of ice and fruit in drinks or use exotic mixers. If guests are mixing their own, have a spirits measure to hand. Check back labels to choose drinks with lower alcohol content and there are some delicious recipes for nonalcoholic alternatives too.
Make sure your nibbles and snacks are substantial, watch out for salty snacks as they make you want to drink more! Offer water and imaginative low alcohol or soft drinks, especially if your friends are driving home. If you’re worried a guest has drunk too much, make sure they can get home safely – have the number of a reliable cab firm to hand – arrange for someone to take them home, or offer them a bed for night if needed.
A bite to eat
If possible, try and drink with food, or eat before you go out. Alcohol has much more of an effect on an empty stomach as it’s absorbed more quickly into the blood stream, and you tend to drink faster without food.
Have fun finding out more in our online learning zone talkaboutalcohol.com – try the alcohol clock game
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