Drinking alcohol within recommended limits does not pose any significant risk to your health. If you are pregnant or have been advised to avoid alcohol for any other health related reason, then you are an exception to the rule.
There is a growing concern with the amount of alcohol we are drinking. Binge drinking has been a growing problem for years and some people believe there is little risk to their health by consuming the recommended weekly intake in just one evening. You should also be aware that alcohol is high in calories and can contribute to weight gain.
The NHS recommends:
‘Regularly’ means drinking these amounts every day or most days of the week.
What is a unit of alcohol?
Examples of one unit of alcohol include:
Examples of 1.5 units of alcohol include:
What is considered binge drinking?
Binge drinking is when more than 4 units are consumed at any one time. It is bad for your health and increases the likelihood of having cancer, high blood pressure, mental illness or a stroke. People who simply drink more than the recommended intake for several years are at risk.
Long-term benefits of decreasing your alcohol intake:
There’s a strong link between heavy drinking and poor mental health. If you already feel anxious or sad, drinking can make this worse, so cutting down may put you in a better mood generally.
Drinking can affect your sleep. Although it can help some people fall asleep quickly, it can disrupt your sleep patterns and stop you from sleeping deeply. So cutting down on alcohol should help you feel more rested when you wake up.
Drinking can affect your judgment and behaviour. You may behave irrationally or aggressively when you’re drunk. Memory loss can be a problem during drinking and in the long-term for regular heavy drinkers.
Long-term heavy drinking can lead to your heart becoming enlarged. This is a serious condition that can’t be completely reversed, but stopping drinking can stop it getting worse.
Regular drinking can affect your immune system. Heavy drinkers tend to catch more infectious diseases.