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Understanding Alcohol The following pages provide information on: The effects of alcohol The effects of alcohol Understanding units Understanding units.

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Presentation on theme: "Understanding Alcohol The following pages provide information on: The effects of alcohol The effects of alcohol Understanding units Understanding units."— Presentation transcript:

1 Understanding Alcohol The following pages provide information on: The effects of alcohol The effects of alcohol Understanding units Understanding units Recommended drinking limits Recommended drinking limits The calories in alcohol The calories in alcohol Tips for drinking sensibly Tips for drinking sensibly Contact details for further information Contact details for further information

2 Understanding Alcohol! In general, people drink alcohol to relax, celebrate special occasions or to enhance social gatherings. In general, people drink alcohol to relax, celebrate special occasions or to enhance social gatherings. Many people drink in moderation and within the recommended limits. Many people drink in moderation and within the recommended limits. However, others are drinking too much and in the long term this could be damaging their health and well being. However, others are drinking too much and in the long term this could be damaging their health and well being. It is important to understand the impact alcohol can have in order to make decisions about what and how much you are drinking. It is important to understand the impact alcohol can have in order to make decisions about what and how much you are drinking. ?

3 The short & long terms effects of Alcohol….....moderate intake can make life enjoyable but over consumption can be damaging to our health Aggression, depression, co-ordination & reactions impaired. Puffy eyes, “drinkers’ nose”, looking flushed. Increased blood pressure, weakened heart muscle, blood clotting. Irritation to stomach & small intestine leading to vomiting & diarrhoea. Stomach ulcers. Impaired kidney function, urinary infections. Vision is blurred, speech slurred & inhibitions reduced. Blackouts. Cancer of the mouth & throat. Liver damage leading to breakdown, cirrhosis & cancer. Increased blood flow to the skin causing loss of body heat & sweating. Impaired sensation leading to falls

4 How much alcohol is in your favourite drink? ….and how is this measured? The strength of an alcoholic drink will depend on how much pure alcohol (ethanol) it contains The strength of an alcoholic drink will depend on how much pure alcohol (ethanol) it contains This information will be shown on the side of a bottle / can as %ABV (percentage of alcohol by volume) This information will be shown on the side of a bottle / can as %ABV (percentage of alcohol by volume) The higher the %ABV, the stronger the drink! The higher the %ABV, the stronger the drink! Drinks are measured in Units to help us keep a track of how much we are drinking Drinks are measured in Units to help us keep a track of how much we are drinking ? ? ? ?

5 Counting units….. ….what makes it all add up? In Ireland, a unit is 10ml or 8 grams of pure alcohol In Ireland, a unit is 10ml or 8 grams of pure alcohol The number of units in a drink will depend upon The number of units in a drink will depend upon –the strength of your drink –how much of it there is For example: For example: –A glass of wine at 8% ABV in a 175ml glass = 1.4 units! –A glass of wine at 13% ABV in a 175ml glass = 2.3 units! –A glass of wine at 13% ABV in a 250ml glass = 3.25 units! Can you tell the difference?

6 Once you know the %ABV of a drink you can work out how many units you are drinking using this calculation: Once you know the %ABV of a drink you can work out how many units you are drinking using this calculation: quantity of drink (ml) x %ABV So a 330ml bottle of beer at 5% ABV can be worked out as: So a 330ml bottle of beer at 5% ABV can be worked out as: 330 x 5 = / 1000 = / 1000 = 1.65 So the bottle contains 1.65 units of alcohol! So the bottle contains 1.65 units of alcohol! Working it out for yourself!

7 How much alcohol is in standard drinks? …..sobering thought! Drink%ABVUnits Pint of beer (568ml) 3.5% - 4% 2 – 2.5 units Bottle of beer (330ml) 4.5% 1.5 units Pint of stout (568ml) 4.2% 2 units Small glass of wine (125ml) 12.5% - 13% 1.5 units Spirits (35ml) 37.5% - 40% 1.5 units Alcopop (275ml) 5% - 5.5% 1.5 units

8 Recommended drinking limits….. ….a guide to safe and moderate drinking Medical opinion recommends the following drinking limits Medical opinion recommends the following drinking limits –Men: less than 21 units per week –Women: less than 14 units per week It is important not to drink too much in a single day It is important not to drink too much in a single day –Men should not drink more than 4 units in a day –Women should not drink more than 3 units in a day Its is recommended that people DO NOT drink the maximum amount each day – that would exceed the weekly limit! Its is recommended that people DO NOT drink the maximum amount each day – that would exceed the weekly limit! Try to spread your drinking out over the week, and allow yourself at least a couple of alcohol-free days a week Try to spread your drinking out over the week, and allow yourself at least a couple of alcohol-free days a week

9 How many calories are in a drink? …..it’s not called a ‘beer belly’ for nothing! Alcohol has a high calorie content Alcohol has a high calorie content It contains 7 calories per gram – almost as many per gram as FAT! It contains 7 calories per gram – almost as many per gram as FAT! The images below give an approximate idea of the calorie content of some common drinks: The images below give an approximate idea of the calorie content of some common drinks: Pint of lager/cider = 200 calories Bottle of stout = 105 calories Red wine 125ml = 85 calories White wine medium (125ml) = 85 calories Spirits (25ml) = 50 calories Baileys (25ml) = 50 calories

10 And the calories don’t stop there! ….alcohol increases blood sugar levels, leaving us feeling hungry! Unfortunately at the end of the night, food options are limited to fatty or ‘junk’ food! Unfortunately at the end of the night, food options are limited to fatty or ‘junk’ food! Cutting down on alcohol is a great way to cut down on the total number of calories you consume! Cutting down on alcohol is a great way to cut down on the total number of calories you consume! 130 calories250 calories400 calories 260 calories 400 calories500 calories

11 Tips for safer drinking…. ….the body can only deal with 1 unit of alcohol per hour so help it out! Always eat a meal before you go out drinking Always eat a meal before you go out drinking Try not to drink if you are thirsty – quench your thirst with water or a non-alcoholic drink first Try not to drink if you are thirsty – quench your thirst with water or a non-alcoholic drink first Avoid salty snacks because these will make you thirstier Avoid salty snacks because these will make you thirstier Try to have a few glasses of water during the night Try to have a few glasses of water during the night Consider switching to a lower strength alcoholic drink Consider switching to a lower strength alcoholic drink Always dilute spirits, but be careful if using fizzy mixers – the gas in them speeds up the rate at which the alcohol enters our system! Always dilute spirits, but be careful if using fizzy mixers – the gas in them speeds up the rate at which the alcohol enters our system! Pour home drinks wisely – use a measure for spirits! Pour home drinks wisely – use a measure for spirits! Allow yourself a couple of alcohol free nights during the week Allow yourself a couple of alcohol free nights during the week Try not to exceed the recommended daily drinking limits Try not to exceed the recommended daily drinking limits Don’t binge drink Don’t binge drink

12 If you need more information…… Support & advice for people with drink problems: Alcoholics Anonymous - Belfast Dublin Dublin Further information on health issues: Health Promotion Agency – Belfast Health Promotion Unit – Dublin


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