Drinking Sensibly

Looking after yourself is important because your health affects your quality of life at any age, but especially as you get older. Most of the time you will be able to maintain good health by having a healthy lifestyle but if your health is affected, then adopting a healthier lifestyle can help your treatment or recovery and if you are already healthy, it will help to keep you that way!

Most people drink alcohol to relax and socialise. However there are no safe limits only sensible ones. If you regularly drink too much, you are at risk of serious illnesses such as liver and kidney problems as well as heart disease and certain cancers.
The recognised sensible limits for drinking alcohol are:

Men · should not regularly drink more than 3-4 units a day.
Women · should not regularly drink more than 2-3 units a day.

Pregnant women, or women trying to become pregnant should avoid alcohol. If you chose to drink, drink no more than 1-2 units just once or twice a week, and avoid getting drunk.

Binge drinking is drinking to get drunk. It is usually measured as drinking 8+ units for men and 6+ units for women in one day and should be avoided, because it increases the risk of accidents and some heart conditions. After an episode of heavy drinking it is advisable to stop drinking for 48 hours to allow your body to recover.

Top tips for sensible drinking

  • Use non-alcoholic drinks to quench your thirst before having alcohol.
  • Alternate non-alcoholic drinks with alcoholic ones.
  • Pace yourself - enjoy a drink slowly.
  • Eat before you drink or when you are drinking.
  • Set yourself a limit and stick to it.
  • Reduce the number of days on which you drink more than 1-2 units.
  • Go out later in the evening.
  • Resist pressure from people who encourage you to drink more - it's your health you are looking after!