Last Updated: 11/05/2016
The Government’s recommended drinking limits have been updated this year, and there has been a big change in the amount that men especially are recommended to drink. Previously men were told they could drink around 21 units safely per week, but now the amounts for both women and men stand at just 14 units per week. So what does 14 units amount to? This is always the confusing part – well it’s the equivalent to 6, large 175ml of wine, 6 pints of 4% lager or beer, or 6 pints of cider, or 14 25ml 40% shots.
It’s an amount the government says we should be aiming at achieving – although for most of us it would be very difficult to cut down to that amount per week without making major changes to our lifestyle.
On the DrinkAware website as well as having plenty of other drink relating facts, they also have a section which tests whether you have become alcohol dependant – it’s enlightening that among this list is whether or not you could conceive having a Friday night without having a drink?! They state that anyone drinking regularly will have a degree of alcohol dependency.
According to Dr Nick Sheron, a liver disease specialist from Southampton University, alcohol dependency operates on a spectrum. “At one end of the scale you have people who are mildly dependent,” he says. “That’s people who, for example, can’t conceive of a Friday night without having enough drinks to get a bit tipsy. At the other end, you have people where alcohol is more important than their jobs, their families, than pretty much anything, including being alive.”
The worst type of drinking is binge drinking – it’s much better for you to have one glass of wine per day than having all of your units in one go – if you find that you have been struggling with your weight you would be amazed at how much you would lose if you cut out drinking from your lifestyle. I wouldn't be surprised if the Government in the future, state that all drinking is bad for us. In parts of India they have heavily regulated drinking as it was having a really negative effect on people living in the district of Kerala. The great thing is that there is a really good choice of non-alcoholic drinks available in bars, restaurants and supermarkets, so why not give your liver a rest and stop drinking for 14 days, keep a diary to see how much this impacts on your daily life – from raised awareness, to better sleeping to an increased amount of energy levels.