Alcohol Awareness Week NI – All about Units

It’s Alcohol Awareness Week and this year we are focusing on units and how they affect us. 

With so many different drinks and glass sizes, from shots to pints, not to mention bottles, it’s easy to get confused! So, how many units are in your drink? But first,  what exactly is a unit.

What is a Unit?

One unit is 10ml or 8g of pure alcohol. Because alcoholic drinks come in different strengths and sizes, units are a way to measure the strength of your drink.  

On average it takes the human body one hour to process one unit of alcohol, but this will vary from person to person.

Find out more here.

The Guidelines

It is recommended not to drink more than 14 units of alcohol per week. It is also advisable to spread your alcohol consumption over the week instead of drinking it all at once. But the more you drink on a regular basis, the greater the risk of developing a range of health problems, including cancers of the mouth, throat and breast.

Tips for Cutting Down

There are some very simple ways of reducing your alcohol intake, for example;

  • Drink spritzers if you like wine or pints of shandy if you’re a lager drinker. You’ll still get a large drink, but one that contains less alcohol.
  • Opt for half pints if you prefer higher strength lager or try a lower strength drink option. You really won’t notice the difference.
  • If you drink cocktails, try replacing them with ‘Mocktails’, or even alternate between them. Cocktails may contain more alcohol than you might think!

You could drastically decrease the chances of alcohol related illnesses from developing if you simply follow at least one of these tips above.

Five benefits to cutting back on alcohol

Keeping an eye on what you drink can have a positive effect on your overall health and well-being. Here are a few of the benefits to cutting down your alcohol intake.

  1. Alcohol is heavy on calories. And with 682 calories in an average 13% bottle of wine, cutting down is a great way to stay in shape.
  2. Drinking less means you will have a better quality sleep because alcohol interferes with the normal sleep process.
  3. Some people drink to relax but in fact, since alcohol is a depressant it can actually make you feel more stressed.
  4. No more hangovers! Say goodbye to a sore head, dry mouth and that dreaded “why did I drink so much last night?” hangover feeling!
  5. Cutting down can be great news for your long-term health. Drinking less alcohol reduces the risks of alcohol-related cancers, diabetes and heart disease. It puts less pressure on the liver too.

If you would like to get help on cutting down your alcohol intake, check out some of the services available by clicking on the links below.

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