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How to drink healthily

Last Updated: 18 January 2019








How to drink healthily

Many of us enjoy an occasional tipple and some of us a more regular tipple… Although alcohol isn’t great for your body, it can be managed. You can limit your daily intake but come office parties, meeting friends, family dinners and the weekend and say hello to the temptation to indulge. Luckily when these situations arise there are ways to minimise the damage.


It is possible to enjoy a drink without throwing out your finely-tuned health regimen. All you have to do is follow a few simple rules. We’ve put together a short list of the top tips to drink healthily:

1) Eat before you drink. A belly full of starch and dairy will slow alcohol absorption, allow your body time to properly process the alcohol and subsequently prevent that head banging in the morning.

2) Drink plenty of water while drinking. Alcohol dehydrates your body, so to avoid suffering even worse effects drink water between every drink. It will also stave off thirst and ensure that you don’t wake up in the middle of the night with heavyweight cotton mouth.

3) Aim for the light drinks. Vodka, gin and light beers are less calorific than dark drinks such as whisky, rum and red wine. Additionally, the lighter spirits are less likely to cause a hangover and are easier for your body to break down.

4) Use mixers. A double shot of dark spirit can contain as many calories as a smallmeal, as well as doubling your alcohol intake. Stick with a single and have a mixer. But make sure they’re low calorie or pure fruit juices free of refined sugars. The added sugars in bottled mixers, tonics and soft drinks can make your body absorb alcohol more quickly and therefore make it harder to process.

5) Stick with drinks you know. Handing out a wallet-full of cash for a drink based on its cheeky name is more than just a bad financial decision. The trend with modern cocktails is to mask the flavour of the alcohol. As such it becomes tricky to gauge exactly how much alcohol is in the glass; that is until you’re falling out of the taxi on the way home.

6) After a session, give yourself time to recover. If you end up drinking more than you planned (and we all do it occasionally) abstain for around 48 hours. This time without alcohol will give your liver time to recover and prevent more dangerous long-term effects.

7) Never drive over the limit. It’s never a good idea and can end up with a fine, a criminal record or seriously hurt or kill yourself and / or others. A taxi is much safer and you could have a nice little snooze on the way home.

Following these tips can make sure that you enjoy a drink without ruining your healthy lifestyle! And if (when) you do falter and feel worse for wear in the morning…

8) Nothing but time will cure a hangover but alleviate the symptoms by drinking plenty of water, boost your nutrients and have something to eat. If you take any medicine make sure it’s not likely to make you feel worse by checking the instructions (some painkillers do not mix well with alcohol).



Written by Ruth Tongue
(MSc Nutrition)


General health
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