Know your limits

Launch of Drinking Time App produced by Scottish Government's Healthier Scotland at Tiger Lilly, Edinburgh with alcohol free Mock-tails. The app shows the user what they might look like depending on the amount they drink. Wayne Collins mixing the drinks.
Launch of Drinking Time App produced by Scottish Government's Healthier Scotland at Tiger Lilly, Edinburgh with alcohol free Mock-tails. The app shows the user what they might look like depending on the amount they drink. Wayne Collins mixing the drinks.

A DRINK after work is a common indulgence — but uncertainty over units and glass sizes means it is easy to lose track of how much you consume each day.

The Scottish government is this week campaigning for residents to Drop a Glass Size in 2012, providing hints and tips on cutting down your alcohol intake.

Know your limits.

Know your limits.

Whether it’s an evening in the pub or a relaxing glass of wine in front of the TV, those points add up and could lead to health problems in later life.

Recent figures show that around 38 per cent of women and 49 per cent of men regularly exceed the sensible drinking guidelines — in fact, many are unaware of the suggested limits at all.

It is recommended that men drink no more than three to four units a day, and for women it’s lower, at two to three units — and the bad news is that this can be taken up in just one large glass of wine.

It’s also suggested that you have at least two alcohol-free days a week.

Regularly exceeding these limits can cause a range of health problems, including poor skin, brittle hair and nails, disrupted sleeping patterns and effects on your mental health.

And in the long term it can also increase your chance of high blood pressure, chronic liver disease and breast cancer.

The Holyrood campaign is aimed at reminding people of the health benefits – and the positive effects on your wallet and waist of cutting down on booze.

More information on cutting back is available at www.drinksmarter.org, including a guess the units challenge and a drinking time machine smartphone app, which shows how alcohol could speed up the ageing process on your own face.

Tips on sensible drinking:

n Remember size isn’t everything. A large glass of white wine can contain three units of alcohol think about how that adds up.

n Set yourself a drinking budget and stick to it. One way of making sure you don’t go over this is to take only enough money to buy the drinks you want (and a bit more to get you home safely).

n Eat a good meal before you start, or enjoy some snacks while you drink.

n Alternate alcohol with soft drinks or water. It will help you cut down the units you consume and avoid a hangover

.n Keep the sensible drinking guidelines in mind women should not regularly drink more than 2-3 units per day and men 3-4.

n Have a break: at least two alcohol-free days every week