It is important to try to drink at least 1.6 litres of fluids each day to replace what you lose when you breathe, sweat and urinate
Swap sugary drinks for water or a diluted juice. Water contains no sugar or calories and has huge benefits for your skin, body, mind and wallet. Cutting down on sugary drinks will also help you cut calories from your diet.
Sugary drinks, including alcoholic drinks, are often high in calories and can increase the risk of weight gain and serious health conditions.
Did you know?
- 500ml of cola contains the equivalent of 9 teaspoons of sugar.
- A small latte contains around 120 calories; a white coffee is only around 18 calories.
- A large 250ml glass of wine has 250 calories, equivalent to eating a Mars Bar.
- A pint of 5% lager, beer or cider has around 170 calories. Four pints will notch up 680 calories, equivalent to a McDonald's Double Cheeseburger and small fries.
Cutting down on alcohol could mean that you feel better, look better and have more money to spare.
Try upping the number of alcohol-free nights you have each week.
If it has become a regular habit for you to drink at home beware that our own measures of alcohol tend to be much more generous!
It is estimated that alcohol dependence affects 4% of the population in England aged 16-65.
- Women should not regularly drink more than 2 – 3 units a day and men should not regularly drink more than 3 – 4 a day.
- A large 250ml glass of wine is 3.3 units, 1 bottle of wine is 10 units.
- A can of 4% lager, beer or cider is 1.8 units, a pint is 2.3 units.
Some misconceptions are that if you don’t drink during the week you have saved up your units to splurge at the weekend. Large quantities of alcohol can give our organs a hard time, which can lead to liver damage, heart attacks, reduced fertility and some cancers.
A further misconception is that alcohol can help you sleep. You may get to sleep easier but alcohol suppresses your breathing, giving you a less restful night’s sleep.
You will also wake up in the morning with less of a hangover if you:
- Make every other drink water
- Chose singles instead of doubles
- Drink small rather than large glasses of wine
- Drink halves instead of pints
- Remember: never leave your drinks unattended.
Darker coloured alcohol also increases your hangover symptoms, as they contain more chemicals and toxins than lighter alcohol such as gin and vodka.
Why Drink Less – The Sobering Facts
- Binge drinking is defined as drinking eight or more units of alcohol in one session if you are a man, and more than six units in one session, if you are a woman
- Drinking accounts for 40% of all drinking occasions among men and 22% by women
- 1 in 5 24 year olds have had sex they later regretted and 1 in 10 have been unable to remember if they had sex the night before
- If you are caught drink driving you risk a fine of up to £5,000, a minimum 12-month driving ban and a criminal record
To find out how much you’re really drinking go to the NHS Change4Life pages to use the Drinks Checker or download the Drinks Tracker app
If you’re on medication check with your doctor to see if it’s safe to mix it with alcohol.
It is fine to drink tea, coffee and drinks with caffeine, as long as they are part of a balanced diet and do not account for your whole fluid intake.
Caffeine temporarily makes us feel more alert but too much can cause sleeping difficulty and an increase heart rate, among other effects. To overcome this replace your normal coffee with a decaffeinated drink before bed.
For Help and advice on Drinking well contact Student Services or call Worcestershire Pathways to recovery on:
Evesham 01386 444 380
Kidderminster 01562 823 211
Malvern 01684 578 368
Redditch 01527 406920
Worcester 01905 721020 or 019050724853
The content of our Drink for Wellbeing page has been reviewed by our Healthy Eating Champion, Alison Winson.