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Cheers: a guide to booze

There will be many times in your student career when you’ll be tempted to head to the bar, but here are a few simple facts to keep you safe and healthy

As a student, the cliché will be that you will spend your life down the student union, drinking Jager bombs and necking pints. But alcohol should always be drunk in moderation.

As one in five adult hospital in-patients have a harmful drinking habit, you don’t need to look too far to see why you should stick to the recommended guidelines. For a man, that’s 28 units a week, and for a woman it’s 21. And you should have at least two or three alcohol-free days a week just to give your body a chance to process the booze.

So while a stressful day hitting the books or working the ward may tempt you to uncork another bottle of bubbly, think twice before you do.

Drinking is not just bad for your health, it can also put you at risk - so never drink to the point where you don’t know how you’ll get home (in fact, make travel arrangements before you go out for the night). Make sure you don’t leave your drinks unattended so people can spike them.

And finally, remember that alcohol can be bad for your figure. Rick Wilson, director of Nutrition and Dietetics at King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, says that alcohol contains seven calories a gram, compared to sugar, which has four calories a gram.

On top of that, alcohol stimulates your appetite, so you are bound to reach for bar snacks that are high in salt and fat, as well as making you stop for kebab, burger and chips on the way home.

No one is saying you can’t celebrate your exams being over or the end of a hard week, but keep an alcohol diary so you know exactly what you’re having, and how to cut back if needs be.

Salut!

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