Now that lockdown is being relaxed many of you will be heading out for a drink. This is great because it’s a chance for some much needed socialising, which will be a great boost to your mental health. However those drinks could have a negative impact on your health. This is because many of them are packed with sugar and calories as well as alcohol and all of these things can increase our risk of ill health To help you here are my top 5 tips to help you enjoy sensible drinking all year.
Make sure you are well informed about how much you are drinking.
This is critical because most of us underestimate enormously! Remember that for healthy men and women 14 units of alcohol each week with 2 or 3 alcohol free days is considered low risk drinking. Check out your totals using this handy calculator tool from the Drink Aware campaign. https://www.drinkaware.co.uk/understand-your-drinking/unit-calculator
Don’t be tempted to start drinking early.
Sharing a drink with fellow mums following the afternoon school run and rushing out to a bar or pub straight after work are not going to help you keep your intake down. So try to encourage everyone to develop healthier habits. For example, you could suggest doing something active together first like going to a bar where you can play table tennis or doing a bit of bowling.
If you do dry January or sober October don’t celebrate the end of the month by going straight back to old habits.
You will soon build up your tolerance again and start drinking more and more. So make a deliberate effort to drink less than you used to. Of course not drinking at all is the best option because this carries the lowest risk to health but drinking as little as possible, staying below 14 units/week is the next best and remember it’s a limit not a target.
If you drink at home buy smaller glasses.
A standard glass these days is designed to give you about 150ml but I found some glasses in a charity shop that contain 125 ml when filled right to the brim. When I use them I am probably having less than 100ml/glass which is a great way to cut down.
Test out some of the great alcohol free or virtually alcohol free drinks
These are becoming much more widely available in supermarkets as well as online and in bars. Here are some ideas to get you started but there are lots of options so there’s no need to sip sparkling water all night. I have included some that are also low in sugar or sugar free. You can also compare the calories. If you need more information about sugar see my article here
|Drink||Alcohol by Volume (ABV %)||Sugar content||Calories|
|Bavaria Premium Malt 0.0%||0.0||10g/330 ml bottle||83/330 ml bottle|
|Carlsberg 0.0% ABV lager||0.0||7g/275 ml||61/275 ml|
|Win 12 – Tempranillo grape red wine alternative||0.2||0g||45/125 ml glass|
|Carl Jung Premium Merlot||0.2||0g||25/125 ml glass|
|Romance en Blanc organic white wine alternative||0.1-0.2||4g/125 ml glass||17/125 ml glass|
|Seedlip (alternative to gin)||0.0||0g||0|
|Teetotal G ‘n’ T||0.0||12/200ml||50/200 ml|