Tips to Manage Alcohol Intake During Holiday Parties



Tips to Manage Alcohol Intake During Holiday PartiesAlcohol continues to be a big part of holiday celebrations. There are plenty of opportunities for toasts and alcohol around the holiday season, this does not mean that you have to spend the holidays alone and avoid people, but it means that you have to have to socialize with a strategy.  With all the celebrations and toasting around the corner, some of us can lose track of how much alcohol is to be consumed.


The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto advises that a standard drink consists of one 341 mL (12-ounce) bottle of beer (5% alcohol), one 142 mL (5-ounce) glass of wine (12% alcohol), or one 43 mL (1-ounce) serving of hard liquor (40% alcohol).

Catch on these  tips and head into this holiday season with heightened alcohol awareness, and beat the January resolution rush.





  1. Wait an hour between drinks. From the first sip, alcohol is absorbed into the bloodstream and reaches the brain. Although you won't be aware of it, there is an impairment of brain function, which deteriorates further the more you drink. It impairs regions of the brain controlling behavior and emotion, therefore watch your every sip.

  2. Never Drink on an empty stomach. Even if you are expecting a meal, have a snack before you arrive, and drink plenty of water. This will reduce your craving for a drink and the tendency to drink too quickly. Alcohol is absorbed through the stomach and small intestine and if you are not used to it, even small amounts of alcohol can irritate the stomach lining. This volume of alcohol also begins to block absorption of essential vitamins and minerals. A full stomach on the other hand, helps break down alcohol, but not because your food "soaks up" the alcohol. When you eat a big meal, your stomach's pyloric sphincter, a kind of release valve into the small intestine, closes tightly. Your body knows that you've got food that should get a good going-over in your stomach before it heads straight to the high-absorption small intestine, so it keeps it there, and the AD in your stomach has more time to work on the alcohol. Drink on an empty stomach, and the liquid quickly makes it into the small intestine, where there's more than 200 square meters of surface area for absorption into your body.

  3. Tips to Manage Alcohol Intake During Holiday PartiesPair alcohol with  carbohydrate based foods, like, salads and nuts. Carbs act like a sponge, helping to absorb some of the alcohol and in turn minimizing its effect on blood glucose. Having food in your stomach will also help slow the effects of alcohol intoxication. Be sure to check your blood sugar more frequently after drinking. Recommendations for alcohol for those with diabetes are no more than one drink per day for women. (One drink equals 4 ounces of wine, 12 ounces of beer, 1 ounce of distilled spirits.)

  4. Alternate between alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.

  5. Watch out for that bowl of holiday punch, which may pack more punch than you'd expect. You might end up  with empty calories.

  6. Watch out for that bowl of holiday punch, which may pack more punch than you'd expect. You might end up  with empty calories.

  1. Don't forget to have two alcohol-free days per week, whatever the occasion. Alcohol can cause hypoglycaemia (a hypo, or low blood glucose). It is a vasodilator and makes the peripheral blood vessels relax to allow more blood to flow through the skin and tissues, which results in a drop in blood pressure. In order to maintain sufficient blood flow to the organs, the heart rate increases. Your breathing rate may also speed up.

  2. Tips to Manage Alcohol Intake During Holiday PartiesSelect Social Venues Wisely: If you have a say in where social events are held, think about the kind of drinks that are served and the way that they are served. Opt for places that serve healthy drinks that are exotic blends of freshly pressed juices. You can locate places that serve reasonably priced non-alcoholic drinks. Make an effort to find a place where there is something to do other than drink, for example, a cafe that provides live music.

  3. Ignore Peer Pressure: Do not allow anyone to persuade you to have another drink -- change the subject or make an excuse and leave the conversation if necessary. If certain people, places, or activities trigger a craving for alcohol, try to avoid them.

  4. Respect Your Body: Establish the exact number of drinks you will consume in advance, using the BAC (Blood Alcohol Calculator) tips for  women. Whether you are hosting a social event, or socializing with family or friends, stay strictly within your limit. Focus on friends, not drinks. Enjoy the company and conversations, because that is the true reason for the gathering.


ANGEL PUNCH (NON-ALCOHOLIC)

Ingredients:

  • 64 oz white grape juice

  • 56 oz club soda

  • 32 oz strong green tea

  • 16 oz lemon juice

  • 1 cup sugar syrup

Mixing instructions:

Mix together all the ingredients (except club soda) and place in refrigerator until well chilled. Pour the chilled mixture into a punch bowl and add a block or cake of ice. Add club soda and stir gently.

Makes approx 42 servings of 4 oz each.


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Dated 29 November 2012

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