Published on December 12, 2017 at 13:56 / Updated on January 6, 2022 at 15:39

There are many occasions to consume alcohol. Did you know that there are some tricks to avoid drinking too much alcohol during festivities?

Alternate between alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages

Each time you drink an alcoholic beverage, follow up with a drink that does not contain any alcohol. For example, do you enjoy a mimosa during an impromptu brunch? Before asking for a second glass, drink a glass of sparkling water or orange juice.

Drink water

Make sure you regularly drink water during celebrations with family and friends. This will help you to thwart the dehydrating effects of alcohol and slow down consumption.

Never drink alcohol on an empty stomach

Avoid drinking an alcoholic beverage on an empty stomach; if you do, it will affect your system much more quickly. Food helps to slow down alcohol absorption in the stomach, which in turn slows down its entry into your blood stream.

This recommendation is particularly important if you suffer from diabetes. Drinking on an empty stomach will cause your blood sugar levels to plummet and you could risk suffering from hypoglycemia. Because the symptoms of hypoglycemia are similar to inebriation, you may not realize that your blood sugar level is too low. This can trigger serious consequences.

Pregnant? Don’t drink alcohol!

Alcohol should be avoided if you are pregnant. Studies are inconclusive as to determining any safe levels of alcohol consumption for pregnant women. Steer clear of occasional drinking too. If you are pregnant, opt for non-alcoholic beverages.

Respect the recommended daily number of drinks

Éduc'Alcool recommends following these guidelines for low-risk drinking:

  • 2 drinks a day for women, without exceeding 10 drinks per week  
  • 3 drinks per day for men, without exceeding 15 drinks per week  

What is a standard drink?

A standard drink corresponds to:

  • One regular 5% beer: 340 ml (12 oz) or the equivalent of a regular bottle
  • A glass of 12% wine: 140 ml (5 oz) or approximately ½ a cup
  • A shot of a 40% spirit: 45 ml (1.5 oz) or 3 tablespoons
  • A glass of 20% fortified wine: 85 ml (3 oz) or approximately a 1/3 cup 
  • A glass of 6% cider: 280 ml (10 oz) or approximately 1 cup

Because the quantity of alcohol can vary from product to product, make sure you take the time to determine how much alcohol a specific product has and adjust your consumption accordingly. The higher the alcohol content, the less you should drink. For example, if you drink a microbrewery beer that contains 8% alcohol, you should drink only 212 ml—rather than 340 ml. You should be mindful of the size of the bottle or can of your alcoholic drink. Some beer bottles are offered in either 500 ml or 750 ml formats. In these cases, a “bottle” corresponds to 1.5 and 2 drinks respectively.

With these tips, you should be able to celebrate and have fun—without any regrets in the morning!

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