Are you heading to Wimbledon this weekend? Check out our tips on safe drinking

 Members of St John Ambulance providing first aid cover at the Wimbledon tennis tournament.

It’s the last weekend of Wimbledon. Will you be partaking in strawberries and Pimm’s? Read our tips on safe drinking.

Guidelines for alcohol consumption

Here are the government’s current lower-risk guidelines for drinking alcohol:

• Try to drink no more than two to three units of alcohol regularly per day for women.
• Try to drink no more than three to four units regularly per day for men.

‘Regular drinking’ means drinking every day or on most days. Drinking more than the lower-risk unit guidance can damage your health.

Guide to units of alcohol

It’s important to try to watch how many units of alcohol you consume. Different drinks have different amounts. Here’s a guide to help you to remember*:

  • A single shot (25ml) of spirits is 1 unit.
  • A large, single shot (35ml) of spirits is 1.4 units.
  • A small glass (125ml) of wine is 1.5 units.
  • A standard glass (175ml) of wine is 2.1 units.
  • A large glass (250ml) of wine is 3 units.
  • A bottle of lager, beer or cider is 1.7 units.
  • A can of lager, beer or cider is 2 units.
  • A pint of lower strength larger, beer or cider is 2 units.
  • A pint of higher strength lager, beer or cider is 3 units.
  • A bottle of alcopop is 1.5 units.

Alcohol acts as a diuretic (a substance which removes fluid from the body). Excessive drinking leads to dehydration which can lead to headache symptoms and feeling unwell. Ideally, try to moderate your drinking. Binge drinking is also harmful, so saving up your number of units from the week for one day is not advisable.

Top Tips

  • Don't drink on an empty stomach! Have a meal that includes carbohydrates (such as pasta or rice) or fats. These will help slow down the body’s absorption of alcohol.
  • Dark-coloured drinks contain natural chemicals called congeners (impurities), which irritate blood vessels and tissue in the brain and can make a hangover worse. Some people are more sensitive to them than others, so watch out if this applies to you.
  • Have a glass of water or a non-fizzy soft drink in between each alcoholic drink to keep you hydrated. Carbonated (fizzy) drinks speed up the absorption of alcohol into your system.
  • Drink a pint or so of water before you go to sleep and keep a glass of water by the bed to sip if you wake up during the night.

The best solution is of course, to drink sensibly.

* This unit guide was taken from the NHS choices website.