Tips on Safe Drinking for Adults
It is the law that anyone under the age of 21 should not consume alcoholic beverages. We do not support underage drinking. This is merely and informational tool for adults who drink. Here, we shall see how much of alcohol it is safe to drink, and for whom.
Alcohol use can be a slippery slope. Light drinking can offer some health benefits. But heavier drinking can have serious consequences.
You certainly, don’t have to drink any alcohol, and if you currently don’t drink, don’t start drinking for the possible health benefits. In some cases, it’s safest to avoid alcohol entirely — the possible benefits don’t outweigh the risks.
How much is too much?
Though national standards differ, the international “standard drink” (“unit”) contains 10g (or 12.5ml) of alcohol, which corresponds to:
- one pint or 375 ml of strong beer,
- one glass or 150 ml of wine,
- One and a half small pegs or or 45 ml of hard liquor (whiskey, brandy, rum, vodka etc).
Light drinking is consuming up to two small pegs (or 60ml) of hard liquor a day for five days a week. It is considered to be low risk drinking. However, taking the entire week’s quota in one sitting is deadly. Time levels not only men but even alcohol. Drinking five small pegs or more of alcohol in a day while not drinking for the rest of the week is called binge drinking and is harmful
Light drinking (10 small pegs stretched over a week for men and half of that for women) is thought to be protective, particularly against heart disease for those above the age of 50 years and who are not obese. This association has also been found with diabetics. The beneficial effect is probably due to the effect of alcohol in raising HDL (‘good cholesterol’), reducing platelet aggregation (thinning blood), reducing inflammation of cells, and reducing insulin resistance (anti diabetic effect).
Moderate drinking (20– 40g or 2–4 small pegs a day) does not moderate health, but increases the risk of death from heart failure, and heart attacks and stroke. Drinking alcohol regularly in excess of the recommended can also lead to weight gain, and increased blood pressure and triglyceride levels and fatal accidents.
If you’re a middle-aged or younger adult, some evidence shows that even moderate alcohol use may cause more harm than good. You can take other steps to benefit your cardiovascular health besides drinking — eating a healthy diet and exercising, for example.
Heavy drinking (more than 40g or four small pegs a daily) is harmful and increases the risk of cancer. Alcohol is not a carcinogen itself, but it speeds up the carcinogenic process if it is present. Smoking combined with alcohol will put the cancer in the fast track. Excessive drinking can also destroy the insulin producing cells in the pancreas and result in diabetes in a non-diabetic person and damage the liver. Consuming more than 90 g (four large pegs) of alcohol daily for more than 5 years can result in heart failure due to cardiomyopathy (weakness of heart muscle).
Binge drinking (50g or five small pegs or more at one go while not drinking for the rest of the week) is a sign of alcoholism and can produce sudden death due to arrhythmia (irregular heart beat) leading to cardiac arrest or cardiac embolism (clot) due to rebound platelet aggregation (blood thickening).
Safe drinking tips:
- “Drink the first. Sip the second. Skip the third”
- Know your limit & plan ahead.
- Eat your meal while you drink.
- Sip your drink (slow down).
- Dilute your drink. Instead of having two large pegs one after the other, have four small pegs heavily diluted.
- Skip a drink and substitute with non-alcoholic drink or a glass of water.
- Beware of unfamiliar drinks.
- Respect the rights of individuals who do not wish to drink.
- Keep track of how many drinks you are consuming.
- Space your drinks.
- Do not drink to get drunk (choose quality of the meeting or interaction over quantity of alcohol.
- Avoid drinking games.
- Plan ahead for transportation— get a driver or appoint a designated driver who does not drink – don’t drink and drive!
- Never accept a drink from someone you don’t know.
- When ordering a drink at the bar, watch the bartender make your drink so you can know how much alcohol you will be having.
- Careful what you combine, most drugs and alcohol do not mix well. Be sure to read all warning labels.
- If you are pregnant, might be pregnant or attempting to become pregnant do not consume any type of alcoholic beverage.