sábado, 30 de abril de 2011


beer There is nothing wrong with having the occasional tipple, but drinking too much can cause problems.
Alcohol is high in calories and so can make you put on weight. It's also a diuretic, which means it makes the body lose more water than usual. So when you drink alcohol, you need to have more non-alcoholic drinks that aren't diuretics, otherwise it's easy to get dehydrated.
Heavy drinking can lead to a wide range of health problems, including cancer, liver disease, stroke, high blood pressure and can affect mental health.

On this page

 How much?
 Tips for cutting down
When you are pregnant
 When you are breastfeeding

 When to take extra care

How much?

wine red Women can drink up to 2 to 3 units of alcohol a day and men up to 3 to 4 units a day, without significant risk to their health.
A unit is half a pint of standard strength (3 to 5% ABV) beer, lager or cider, or a pub measure of spirit. A glass of wine is about 2 units and alcopops are about 1.5 units.
For good health, it's a good idea to spread your drinking throughout the week and avoid binge drinking.
If you have drunk too much, you should avoid alcohol for at least 48 hours to give your body a chance to recover.
There is evidence to suggest that having between one and two units of alcohol a day can help protect against coronary heart disease. But this is only thought to work for men when they're over 40 and for women after the menopause.

Tips for cutting down

water iced in glass If you want to try to cut down on the amount of alcohol you are drinking, here are some practical tips:
  • always try to eat before you start drinking - eat before you go out for the evening or have a meal while you are out
  • try not to start drinking alcohol if you are thirsty - quench your thirst with water or a non-alcoholic drink first
  • avoid salty snacks such as crisps and nuts because these make you thirstier (as well as being high in fat and salt)
  • have some non-alcoholic or low-alcoholic drinks through the evening
  • always have a glass or bottle of water with you as well as your alcoholic drink
  • think about the strength of your drink - choose beers or lagers that contain less alcohol (they will have a lower 'ABV', or 'alcohol by volume')

When you are pregnant

Pregnancy 1 When you're pregnant, or trying to get pregnant, it’s best to stop drinking alcohol altogether. But if you do drink, have no more than one or two units of alcohol, once or twice a week and don’t get drunk.
This is because alcohol can reduce the ability to conceive, damage the unborn baby and may lead to early miscarriage.

When you are breastfeeding

Babies and toddlers If you are breastfeeding it's best to avoid drinking alcohol just before a feed. This is because the alcohol can pass to the baby in small amounts through breast milk.

When to take extra care

If any of the following are true for you, then you need to take care because alcohol increases your risk of serious illness. If you are unsure, then check with your GP.
  • Recovering from an injury or operation
  • Taking medication
  • Gastritis, ulcers and liver disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Serious psychiatric illness
It's also important to avoid alcohol if you are going to:
  • drive
  • operate machinery
  • do energetic physical activity

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