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What classes as binge drinking as NHS issues advice to Brits on Christmas bender

What classes as binge drinking as NHS issues advice to Brits on Christmas bender

The NHS has warned about the dangers of binge drinking at this festive time

The festive period is upon us and it's a time to eat, drink and be merry, though according to the NHS if you really want to enjoy the third one you might want to tone down the second.

The time between Christmas and New Year's often sees plenty of drinking done by Brits, but that opens up a whole host of health issues and the danger of binge drinking.

Quaffing an entire week's recommended alcohol intake in one day is never a good idea, nor is doing it several times in a week when it's cold, dark and slippery outside.

No matter how many parties you've got to go to and relatives to drop in on, it's better to remember moderation.

With that in mind, it'd be useful to know what classes as binge drinking and how you can find ways not to do it.

Eating food while you're drinking can help.
Getty Stock Photo

First off, official advice is to drink no more than 14 units of alcohol a week, and to do it over a period of three or more days while not drinking at all some days.

Most bottles will tell you how many units of alcohol they contain, so go number hunting before you begin quaffing.

As for the technical definition of binge drinking, the NHS says it's 'drinking heavily over a short space of time' or otherwise 'drinking to get drunk'.

For men this means consuming more than eight units of alcohol in one session, or six units for women.

Your standard pint is about two units, for an easy frame of reference.

As for some advice which could save you from spending Christmas in the emergency room, the first and most obvious thing to do is limit your drinking.

It can really help to have a good idea how much you'll be drinking in the day and set yourself limits.
Getty Stock Photo

If you are planning to imbibe a lot of alcohol then the advice is to go slowly and accompany your drink with food.

Alternating between alcohol and water is also recommended, so you can still drink but pace yourself with stops to rehydrate in between.

Outside of the actual act of drinking, it's useful to go into the day with a plan of action so you know where you're going, how long you'll be there, have a good idea of how much you'll be drinking and can plan how to get home safely.

Other tips from the NHS are to avoid rounds, otherwise you'll be downing as many drinks as there are people round your table, and to swap out alcoholic drinks with non-alcoholic versions.

Featured Image Credit: Getty Stock Photos

Topics: Christmas, Health, NHS, UK News, Food And Drink