Many people in North Ayrshire drink alcohol or know someone who does. However many people are still unsure exactly how much alcohol is in their drink, how alcohol might affect them, or where to find information or support to help them cut back.
It is very easy to have a drink to many and over time it is easy for alcohol to start having an impact on our lives. Drinking alcohol is never risk free but if we stick to the sensible drinking guidelines the risk is reduced.
Women shouldn't regularly drink more than 2-3 units (equivalent to a 175ml glass of 13% wine) of alcohol a day, and men 3-4 units (equivalent to a pint and a half of 4% lager). We should all try to take at least two alcohol-free days a week to give our body a break.
If you are pregnant or trying for a baby drinking no alcohol is the safest option.

Tips for Sensible Drinking

  • Remember size isn’t everything – A large glass of white wine can contain 3 units of alcohol – think about how that adds up over a night if you’re drinking more than one.
  • Set yourself a drinking budget and stick to it – Think about how much you’re going to drink before you go on a night out. 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).
  • Eat before you drink – Eat a good meal before you start drinking, or enjoy some snacks while you drink. This helps to slow down the effect of alcohol on your body.
  • Alternate alcohol with soft drinks or water – It will help you cut down the number of units you consume and avoid a hangover the next day. Drink water regularly whilst you’re out drinking and also when you get home to keep hydrated.
  • Keep the sensible drinking guidelines in mind – The guidelines are lower than you might think – women should not regularly drink more than 2-3 units per day and men 3-4. (That’s one large glass of wine or a pint and a half of beer.)
  • Have a break – Aim to have at least 2 alcohol-free days every week to give your body a break.
  • Know your strength – The strength of drinks varies dramatically depending on what you’re drinking. So make sure you know how many units are in your drink, and keep tabs on your intake. A cocktail can contain as many as 4 units, while a 750ml bottle of table wine (12% vol) totals 9 units.
  • Measure your drinks – Use a unit measure cup to keep track of how much you’re pouring at home.
  • Keep a diary – Try keeping a drinking diary, noting how much you drank and where and you’ll get a better idea of your alcohol intake.

Useful Links - Alcohol

  • Alcohol Focus Scotland - Scotland's national alcohol charity aim to reduce the harm caused by alcohol.
  • Drink Smarter - Find out more about alcohol, how it affects mental health and wellbeing, and tips on how you can cut back.
  • Drink Aware - Provides the facts about alcohol, how it can affect our lives, and how we can make a change
  • SHAAP - Scottish Health Action on Alcohol Problems provides a clear, strong medical voice on alcohol problems in Scotland.

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