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Festive season and booze: Drinking Responsibly


With the festive season around the corner, we may indulge in alcohol more than usual. Although, this may be a way to connect with our loved ones and friends, it is important to be mindful of our alcohol intake and the negative effects it can pose on our health.

Alcohol refers to beers, ciders and wines, and spirits. It is an ingredient which makes you feel intoxicated when overconsumed. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the harmful use of alcohol causes a high burden of diseases and can result in harm to others. WHO reported 3 million deaths worldwide, yearly due to the result of harmful alcohol use, which constituted 5.3% of all deaths.

What happens when we overconsume alcohol over a long period?

Liver diseases such as alcoholic liver disease, several cancers, and gastrointestinal problems.


How does the body manage overindulgence of alcohol?

Overindulgence of alcohol causes intoxication. Symptoms of which may include confusion, poor judgement, blurred vision, nausea and vomiting etc. In other scenarios, drinking recklessly can result in unconsciousness, coma and even death. Most drinkers suffer from a hangover 8-12 hours after large intakes of alcohol. During hangovers, drinkers may suffer from fatigue, headache, thirst, nausea, and vomiting.


How do I drink mindfully over the festive period?

Besides being aware of your standard drinks – which is 1 drink for females and 2 drinks for males (a regular can of beer - 330ml, half a glass of wine - 175ml or one nip of spirit - 35ml), you need to know how to be a responsible drinker. Drinking responsibly means knowing when to drink, being aware of your limit, planning and being in control of your drinks. Do not be pressured to drink more than your standard drinks, be assertive and set a limit for yourself. A good way to set limits would be having a “spacer” by alternating between alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. Another option would be to drink your alcoholic beverage slowly and do not drink it to quench your thirst. Instead, opt for water or other unsweetened beverages. Avoid playing drinking games as this would make you lose track of the number of alcoholic drinks you consume.

The festive season may be a reason to indulge in many high-caloric foods, though it is essential to remember that what you eat can have a great impact on how you feel at the end of the night or even the next morning. Choosing the right foods before you drink alcohol can assist in controlling your hunger, balancing electrolytes, and decreasing some of the adverse effects associated with alcohol. Foods such as oats, greek yoghurt and quinoa are great choices as they have good fibre and protein content. Some other excellent options are avocados and salmon which contain good fats and can slow the absorption of alcohol into your bloodstream.

Alcohol is known as a diuretic, which is the reason behind your several restroom visits during drinking. This removes key electrolytes from your body and aggravates the symptoms of hangover. Drinking a few glasses of water before drinking alcohol, alternating alcoholic drinks with water, and drinking water before you go to bed after a drinking session helps to counteract the dehydration effect that alcohol possess. Drinking plenty of water helps to flush out the toxins and restore your hydration levels.  You can also opt for hydration drinks which contain good amounts of electrolytes and low in sugar to prevent yourself from getting dehydrated. Some excellent hydration choices would be coconut water, or a delicious and nutritious smoothie mixed with fruits and vegetables.


Alcohol overindulgence can be dangerous and fatal over time. Have you wondered if nutrition could play a role and improve health in drinkers? Stay tuned to our new Nutrition course coming soon on Enticing for Ones Who Drink.

If you would like to speak to your healthcare provider or dietitian regarding any consultation for your diet practices during medical treatments, you can do so now via telehealth, through ML’veGreat★ membership. This telemedicine option includes e-Screening and e-Consultation, for further details of sign up, click here. You can view available slots, and book your sessions through the page too, without having to call the hotline or sending an email!

(updated : December, 2022)​

Disclaimer : The website may contain information relating to various conditions and treatment, gathered and sourced from reputable sources. However, this is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment, it is solely intended for informational purposes only. Patients should always consult with a doctor or healthcare provider for thorough medical advice and information about diagnosis and treatment.


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