Sen­si­ble drink­ing will keep you safe

Learn to make smarter de­ci­sions about your con­sump­tion of al­co­hol.

The Tribune (NZ) - - BACKYARD BANTER -

The silly sea­son is be­hind us, but there are many hol­i­days still to come. Dur­ing this time, peo­ple can find them­selves in­dulging more than usual, of­ten get­ting car­ried away with the hol­i­day cheer.

Re­search shows that 47 per cent of New Zealan­ders are in­ter­ested in mak­ing a change to the way they drink. Are you one of them?

Jude Wal­ter, pro­gramme man­ager at Al­co­hol & Me, an in­ter­ac­tive on­line pro­gramme that pro­vides in­for­ma­tion to help peo­ple make smarter de­ci­sions about their drink­ing, says: ‘‘Our goal is not to stop peo­ple drink­ing. For most, a few drinks and some festive cheer is a great way to cel­e­brate ... but the key is to do so in a way that keeps you and oth­ers safe and so­cia­ble.

‘‘We hope these tips will help make the good times last longer and ... for all the right rea­sons.’’

Eat­ing be­fore drink­ing will help. Food won’t stop you get­ting drunk, but it will slow the pace at which your body ab­sorbs al­co­hol. It’s im­por­tant to eat be­fore and dur­ing the oc­ca­sion, and for the best re­sults the next day, start with a good meal when you wake.

Cof­fee and a cold shower won’t sober you up. Your liver can only process 10 grams of pure al­co­hol (one stan­dard drink) per hour and noth­ing you do will speed up this process. A cold shower and a cof­fee might help to wake you, but it won’t speed up the body’s abil­ity to process the al­co­hol you have drunk. Time is the only cure.

A ‘‘tac­ti­cal vomit’’ won’t sober you up. It may make you feel bet­ter, due to the shot of en­dor­phins your body re­leases, but it will only be short term. Al­co­hol is ab­sorbed into your blood­stream al­most im­me­di­ately and vom­it­ing will only re­move the small amount of al­co­hol that is ac­tu­ally in your stom­ach.

Beer be­fore liquor, never been sicker. Liquor be­fore beer, you’re in the clear. Wrong! It’s the amount you drink that’s im­por­tant, not what your drink or the or­der you drink. Re­mem­ber, your liver can only process 10g of pure al­co­hol per hour and there is noth­ing that will speed this process up.

It’s im­por­tant to re­mem­ber that a stan­dard drink is not nec­es­sar­ily a glass or a bot­tle. It dif­fers de­pend­ing on your drink of choice, but here is a quick guide:

5 per cent beer or cider – 1 Std drink is 255ml.

2.5 per cent mid strength beer – 1 Std drink is 510ml.

13 per cent wine – 1 Std Drink is 100ml.

40 per cent spirit – 1 Std drink is 30ml. Plan ahead. This is key when you are drink­ing. Think about how you want the oc­ca­sion to shape up be­fore it be­gins and put plans in place to make it hap­pen. For ex­am­ple, if you’re or­gan­is­ing a party at home, book a cleaner to come and take away the pain the fol­low­ing morn­ing.

Also, make sure you let the neigh­bours know your plans, bet­ter still in­vite them along – post a mes­sage on Neighbourly so they know what the deal is.

For more smarter drink­ing tips and in­for­ma­tion, visit al­co­


It’s not just how much you drink, it’s what you are drink­ing.

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