Health

Ask a GP: Is it OK to save my alcohol units for the weekend?

Ask a GP: Is it OK to save my alcohol units for the weekend?

Ask a GP: Is it OK to save my alcohol units for the weekend?

Dr Evelyn Lewin bodyandsoul.com.au

So you’ve been good all week, does this give you a license to go hard on the weekend?

Photos: Instagram

When it comes to money, we all know we should save at least some of our hard-earned wages.

But if you come across something you can’t live without, chances are you might be tempted to squirrel away some cash and splurge it all on that must-have purchase (did someone say Kate Spade bag?).

So can you do the same thing when it comes to drinking?

As in, if you’re ‘good’ all week, can you ‘spend’ all that ‘saved’ alcohol on the weekend instead?

Unfortunately, it doesn’t work like that.

If you were to do that, you’d be putting your health at risk.

So while you may high-five yourself for not drinking all week, that doesn’t give you the license to go hard on the weekend.

According to the Australian Government Department of Health, drinking no more than four standard drinks on any one occasion reduces your risk of alcohol-related injury on that occasion.

(Just to let you know, a standard drink contains 10 grams of alcohol.)

So, if you’re female and have more than four drinks on one occasion, that’s considered excessive drinking (also known as binge drinking).

For men, excessive drinking is more than six drinks at one occasion.

Do you have an alcohol problem?0:50

Here are some common signs that you may have a drinking problem.

Drinking an excessive amount can cause any number of probs.

Sure, there’s the obvious – drunken texts are no way to make a good impression. (Nor is spending the night with your head over a toilet bowl.)

Then there’s the hangover you’ll probably have to deal with the next day, which may include nausea, headache and even more vomiting.

But did you also know excessive drinking can also lead to memory loss?

And that you’re more likely to get injured (in a car crash or otherwise) if you’ve been drinking heavily?

Besides, let’s face it, people don’t tend to make great decisions when they’ve had too much to drink.

You might engage in unprotected sex or other unsafe activities that you might not have dreamed of doing if you were sober.

Long-term, there are even more health risks if you choose to regularly ‘save’ all your drinks to ‘spend’ in one go (which really is just ‘drinking excessively’ in fancier terms).

These include mental health problems such as depression and anxiety, damage to your brain or liver and even an increased risk of certain cancers.

Drinking too much in one go can, in fact, be deadly.

That can be as a direct result of ingesting too much alcohol, or because of the poor decisions you can make when blind drunk, such as getting into the car of someone else who’s been drinking.

Of course, you don’t have to sit in the corner and avoid happy hour altogether.

But instead of ‘saving’ your drinks up for Friday night, you’re better off enjoying a glass or two of your fave drop when the urge hits in the evening, rather than telling yourself it’s okay to scull multiple drinks, as a reward for being ‘good’ all week.

If you regularly slam back more than you planned to, there are ways you can curb your drinking.

Before heading out, have a bite to eat. Then, make a plan about how much you want to drink that night – and stick to it.

When out, alternate every second drink with a glass of water. Drink your alcohol slowly.

If you often drink excessively and want to cut back, speak to your GP for further advice.

The truth is, when it comes to money, you can occasionally save your dosh and then splurge if you want to. Sure, your wallet might sulk, but there (hopefully) won’t be too many other repercussions.

But even though it might seem like a good idea in theory, the truth is you simply can’t do the same thing when it comes to drinking.


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