The sun is here! This is obviously great news… Although perhaps not, it seems, for our liver.
Longer, lighter and warmer evenings seem to bring everyone outside for after-work drinks, impromptu picnics in the park, early evening beer garden sessions and any other excuse for a drink and a catch-up with friends.
Whilst this is wonderful and surely one of the highlights of summer time, this increased socialising can very easily ramp up our alcohol intake. Perhaps not the binge drinking that we tend to associate with the Christmas party season, but rather the odd 2 glasses of wine, ½ pint of cold beer etc that seem to go hand in hand with long sunny evenings.
This type of drinking is easy to do frequently.
No hangover = no perceived need to have a day off = easy to be drinking every day.
Whilst many of you will be aware of the recommended daily limits for men and women, I am always surprised by the amount of people who rarely have a day or two without some sort of booze. Your body and, more specifically, your liver need a holiday from the alcohol.
So, next time you head off for evening drinks or a BBQ in the park, why not consider choosing an alcohol free drink to take with you? You will wake up feeling brighter, clearer, more rested and energised… and there is a lot to be said for that.
In short, my top tips:
- Make your drinking days the occasional treat, rather than the norm - at the very least, ensure you have 2 alcohol-free days per week.
- Top up a small glass of wine with plenty of sparkling water.
- Make a summer punch with a very low alcohol content.
- Experiment with virgin mojitos (my absolute favourite: fresh limes, fresh mint, small amount of brown sugar, ice and sparkling water).
- Always eat when you drink any alcohol; drinking on an empty stomach is bad news!
- Decide before you go out that you won’t drink any alcohol and stick to it – you will feel super-proud of yourself. Why not take one for the team and declare yourself the nominated driver.
- If you drink 5 fewer glasses of wine in a week, you will have saved approximately 1000kcal (and a lot of money!).
- Think you will have less fun if you don’t drink? You might just be surprised at how not drinking any alcohol makes NO difference to this!
So, enjoy your long, light summer evenings and, of course, the odd glass of well deserved wine, but be careful that daily drinking doesn’t creep up on you and have fun experimenting with some awesome alternatives!
Less is most definitely more!