“Merry” Christmas! Alcohol and Hangovers!


Units of alcohol

2-3 units a day, this is equivalent to a standard 175ml glass of wine (13%)
No more than 14 units a week 3 units a day

3-4 units a day which is 1 pint of strong larger, beer or cider (5.2%)
No more than 21 units a week 4 units a day

Use the following as a guide;

A glass of red, white or rose wine (13%)
Small (125ml) = 1.6 units,  Standard (175ml) = 2.3 units Large (250ml)=  3.3 units

A bottle of wine has 10 units

Beer, Larger, Cider
Regular (4%) can 1.8 units,  Pint 2.3 units, Strong (5.2%) can 2.2 units, Pint 3 units Extra strong (8%) can 3.5 units, pint 4.5 units.

Single spirit and mixer
25ml (40%) 1 unit

275ml (5.5%) 1.5 units

Drinking on most days can have a harmful effect on your health inside and out. You only have to look at Gazza to see that excessive drinking takes its toll on your body.

Weight gain
Alcohol is full of empty calories which your body can’t utilise and sends them straight to your bums, tums and thighs (sounds like a good name for an exercise session!)

Bad skin
Spots, blemishes, thread veins, poor circulation can be a sign of excessive drinking

Mental health problems
Alcohol is a depressant. Some drinkers need alcohol as a stimulant when in fact it will have the opposite effect which can lead to depression, stress and anxiety

Poor sexual performance
Especially in men

Certain cancers, Stroke, Heart disease, Hypertension, Liver disease, Decrease in fertility,

Go to Change 4 life and take part in their Drinks Checker; be truthful and see if you need to cut down, people tend to underestimate how much they actually drink and it can be a surprise and unintentional that they drink as much as they do.

However, as I said before Party Season is here, the time when people who don’t normally drink will be getting in the festive mood and partake in consuming alcoholic beverages.

Have you ever been sober and just sat back and people watched friends/ colleagues/ family when they are drunk? The drunkenness follows a predictable pattern, here’s why…

Stage 1. Happy Less than one glass of alcohol in an hour is enough to supress the function of the frontal lobes, you have less inhibitions and you become more self-confident; you talk faster and LOUDER! The worse jokes are hilarious and life is good! As a sober observer this can be very entertaining.

Stage 2. Slurring The parietal lobes at the sides and top of your head are next to be affected by alcohol. Your motor skills are now impaired; you find the simplest of task difficult, walking in a straight line is impossible as is speaking without slurring, but you won’t even notice this is happening, you think that your are acting normally!

Stage 3.  Blurring  The optical lobe is next in line. This happens after approximately 5 drinks or 2-3 doubles in an hour. Your vision starts to deteriorate and you get your beer goggles on! You will also declare your undying love for everyone and never be more serious about how passionate you feel about the people around you.

Stage 4. Falling over  After 4 – 6 drinks or 3 doubles in an hour the cerebellum is affected, you now have trouble with your balance and you have difficulty in standing and are relying on your sober friend to keep you up right! The same people that you loved in stage 3 are now the hated!

Stage 5.   Legless You are now unable to walk unaided, you rely on the people you love/hate to get you to the kebab shop as you are nor STARVING!!!!!

Stage 6. Hammered  The only thing that you can do is to sleep, hopefully, your nice sober  friend have tucked you up in bed, this depends on what you said to them in stage 4, you may be in a hedge using the remains of the kebab as a pillow.

You will fall into a deep sleep but only for a few hours. You will have a restless night due to the toxins in your body and a bladder the size of a space hopper!

When morning comes you will feel like your head is in a vice, your body has been sapped of any body fluids its ever had and your tongue will be welded to the roof of your mouth, in short, death seems like a good idea!

You now have a hangover. This is caused by a toxic product of alcohol, dehydration and the depletion of vitamins A,B and C.

How can you speed up your recovery?

People will have their own cures and swear by them. There isn’t really a cure, just rest and rehydration but let’s have a look at a few…

Greasy breakfast  Great if you can stomach it but, there’s no scientific evidence that it works. Toast or cereal is more easily digested.

Alka Seltzer  plink, plink, fizz! This can help a jippy tummy by neutralising stomach acids

Coffee Only really works if you are a coffee drinker, as you may be experiencing caffeine withdrawals too. Caffeine narrows blood vessels which puts your blood pressure up so you might feel worse.

Water Hydrate as much as possible, add a pinch of salt, sugar and fruit juice to help balance your electrolytes

Exercise Obviously first thing you will not even be able to move your eye balls but in the afternoon try and get out for a walk. High intensity exercise won’t be a great idea as you don’t want to dehydrate all over again!

Banana milkshake half a cup of milk, a banana and some ice cubes blitzed together will give you back your vitamin B and potassium and help settle your tum.

If you don’t fancy these you could try some from around the world…

Ancient Rome Deep fried Canary. I bet Canaries hate party season! I guess this answers the questions as where the saying ”spitting feathers” comes from!

Puerto Rico To avoid dehydration rub a slice of lemon or lime to the armpit of the drinking arm. Maybe this only works if you drink Bitter? (sorry!)

Germany Eat rollmops. Raw, pickled herring with gherkin and onion, Yum!

Turkey Tripe soup, AKA the intestines of a cow broth, delicious!

Mongolia Tomato juice and………sheep eyes!

Italy “Pizzle” or nibbling on a dried bull’s penis, I’d rather have a hangover

Philippines – “Balut” AKA fertilised poached duck embryo, I’ve been assured by my Phiippino colleague that this is delicious

The best way to get rid of a hangover is to NOT DRINK! But this isn’t really likely to happen. Alternate soft drinks with alcohol, try and drink a sensible amount, DON’T drive even if you think you’re OK, you’re not!

Stay safe, look after each other and above all Have a Very “Merry” Christmas and keep your head clear!

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