Tis’ the season to be merry and many of us will be if reports are to be believed. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist (or a study) to tell us that our alcohol consumption rises steeply in December. And you don’t have to have a PHD to know that drinking too much of any alcoholic drink is bad for you.
While most of us know about unit measures (a unit is half a pint of standard strength beer or lager, a 25ml measure of spirit or a 125ml glass of wine) alcohol percentages, pub and home measures seem to have has stumped.
At the weekend I ordered a Baileys with ice at the end of a meal and knocked it back without realizing it was a double measure (which I hadn’t asked for). It put me over the limit to drive home and when I asked why I’d been given a double the barman said ‘Doubles are now our standard measure’. At the same time my friend had been drinking cider and the barman warned her she was probably over the limit too as the brand she’d opted for was 7.5% in strength (beer is usually 4%).
Apparently (and I may be the only one who didn’t realize this) you have to read the percentage on the bottle as well as take note of your units as the greater the percentage of alcohol, the stronger the alcoholic effect and the more units it will be. Not being a drinker I find the whole how-much-to-drink equation so confusing that I often stick to water when I’m driving.
It’s one reason why I love the charity Drinkaware as they have a great alcohol unit calculator that makes it very clear how much is too much by immediately showing you the unit value of all your drinks. This charity aims to promote responsible drinking and to change the UK’s drinking habits for the better. So if you’re keen to know how to drink more wisely this holiday season, or what to choose when you’re out check their site out.
Can you tell when you’re over the limit? Or do you guess like the rest of us? Let me know.