It’s impossible to turn the TV on without seeing the ‘Dryathalon’ campaign. Not drinking alcohol for one month is an admiral challenge and even better it raises money for a worthy cause. However, if the abstinence is for health benefits alone then what positive impact do we make if we stop something unhealthy for only one month but then continue with the bad habits for the next 11 months?
We all know that drinking in excess is bad for us and leads to serious health complications. However, many experts believe that drinking in moderation does have health benefits. Regular, moderate alcohol intake is good for the heart and blood circulation. The key to this is little and often.
The challenge is that we live in a culture where most people drink infrequently (mainly on a weekend) and in high volume, or in other words binge drink. Unfortunately abstaining from alcohol for one month will not reverse the negative effects of that unhealthy habit.
Of course having a month off alcohol to reflect on those bad habits and think about forming new ones will be no bad thing.
So how much should you be drinking?
Drink Aware suggests that a female should drink no more then 2 - 3 units of alcohol per day and men 3 - 4 units per day. To give you an idea a pint of beer equates to 2.3 units and a glass of wine somewhere between 1.4 units and 3.5 units.
Remember moderate and frequent alcohol intake does not necessarily mean every day. And saving your units up to have all at once is reverting back to the unhealthy binge culture.
In essence even with the health benefits now being mentioned with moderate alcohol intake you are still consuming a drug that in excess can have negative consequence to your health and wellbeing. If you don’t drink already, don’t start now!
Our advice is drink responsibly and remember that a detox is not a healthy answer to months of excess. If you’re worried or concerned about your alcohol intake your EAP is at hand to help you through some of the challenges associated to excessive drinking.