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It's all about the booze

Alcohol, the facts


What is alcohol?

Carbon, hydrogen and oxygen

Produced when yeast ferments sugar. The amount depends on amount of yeast and time fermented.

Wine and cider also contain fruit

Beers and spirits also contain rye / barley


How much can I drink safely?

14 units per week, spread over at least 3 days. However, know your units...

1 unit = 10ml or 8g of pure alcohol which equates to:

  • 220 ml beer (< half pint)

  • 25 ml spirit

  • 75 ml wine (half an average glass)


Cost in Kcal

Alcohol is not a nutrient but has an energy value (Calories). In fact it has 7 Kcal per gram (of the alcohol, not the drink) whereas both protein and carbs have only 4 kcal per gram.

Some examples:

  • Measure of spirits 56 kcal

  • 125ml white wine 83 kcal

  • 125ml red wine 56 kcal

  • 1 pint lager 166 kcal

  • 1 pint beer 184 kcal


Alcohol also may lessen your resolve to make appropriate food choices leading to increased snacking or eating high Kcal foods.


Impact on health

The good news is that moderate drinking within the guidelines has no adverse effect on health.


However, regularly drinking more than 14 units / week can lead to:

Cancers, stroke, liver disease, CHD, reduced bone density, fertility issues, dementia and stomach ulcers



Top tips

  1. Allow 2-3 alcohol free days per week

  2. Spread your units over 3-5 days rather than binge drinking

  3. Set yourself a limit before you start drinking

  4. Let people know you are cutting down

  5. Make it a smaller one – small glass of wine, single measure of spirit.

  6. Swap strong beers or wines for those with lower ABV (alcohol by volume)

  7. Stay hydrated. Drink 500 ml water before you start drinking alcohol and swap a round for a soft drink



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