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Alcohol – are you enjoying it responsibly?

Published Wednesday, 20 November, 2013 by Beth Bradshaw

Don’t get me wrong – I like a drink. In fact, I’m feeling slightly ropey while writing this after a late night. However, after a lecture last week regarding the big subject, the reality of alcohol and its effects have started to hit home...

Now, I am not writing to convince you alcohol is the devil in liquid form and to never drink again, but let's be honest, we are students - so that's never going to happen! Going out is a massive part of the student lifestyle, but it's not for everyone - the late nights, the dancing, the clubbing. All students need to let their hair down after a week of never ending lectures and hardcore study sessions - you can't physically study 24/7. Everyone has fun in different ways. But for the majority of students (especially freshers!) that fun involves alcohol. But how many of you know the consequences of what and how much you are drinking?

How's that beer belly coming along?

Believe it or not, alcohol is majorly calorific - each gram of pure alcohol provides 7kcals. It's hard to get your head around really, and even as a nutrition student I wasn't aware I was ordering a good 200-300 kcals with my drink. To get an idea of just how many calories (not including the takeaway on the way home!) you can consume on just one night out, check out this Unit Calculator. For example, last night I (shamefully) consumed 977kcals - the equivalent of 3 burgers or 98 minutes worth of running. That's nearly half of my recommended daily allowance of calories on just drinks. Shocking right?

Ever wondered why you can't remember a thing the morning after?

I'm sure we all know alcohol isn't good for us, especially in large amounts. That's why students are at a high risk of developing various health and mental implications as a result of binge drinking on a regular basis. Alcohol actually can really damage our brain and even cause memory loss in severe cases - which is why we sometimes get blackouts and can't remember certain parts or all of the night. It also affects our neurotransmitters in the brain which results in the uncontrollable staggering, slurred speech and memory lapses. Look at the Drinkaware Website for more information on the effects alcohol has on our bodies. So the morning after - not only are you feeling fragile but you aren't looking your best. If you didn't get round to taking your make up off before bed - prepare for a breakout not to mention the panda eyes! You may feel quite bloated after a night on the beer, plus alcohol dries out our skin and deprives it of essential vitamins and nutrients. All in all, does binge drinking still sound as fun?

The Dreaded Hangover

Feeling slightly fragile? Had one too many last night? Check out this table of the best tips to one - prevent your hangover and two - help you ease your banging head and churning tummy.

Prevention

Cure

  • Quantity is key! At the end of the day, the more you drink the worse you feel. So is that next drink really necessary? Especially if you have an assignment deadline looming...

  • To prevent dehydration, try and alternate a glass of water between each drink or ask for a glass with your drink. And always drink a big glass before you go to sleep (eventually!)

  • Make sure to line your stomach before you start drinking - fill your tum with a big meal of pasta for example. It will help your body digest alcohol.

  • Try to stick to clear drinks like gin or vodka if possible, rather than dark coloured drinks like red wine, brandy or whisky. These drinks will have more toxic chemicals which contribute to a nasty hangover.

  • Try to stick to 1 type of drink for the night; for example, do not mix vodka and cider. It has messy consequences.

  • First off - avoid the fry up all costs. All that grease will do your churning tummy no good. Instead, try out this recipe designed especially for the morning after - Hangover Eggs - Student Recipes

  • Avoid caffeine. I know sometimes the first thing you go for is a brew, but it can make you even more dehydrated and could irritate your bowel. Instead, grab a glass of OJ to give you a boost. The vitamin C will help your body process alcohol.

  • Try to calm your stomach - alcohol irritates our digestive system which is what causes the horrible nausea. Opt for a few paracetamols but avoid aspirin and ibuprofen as they have a tendency to irritate your stomach even more.

  • Lastly, tear yourself away from your hangover-ridden bedroom and get some fresh air! It will definitely blow the cobwebs away. And maybe next time - don't drink as much!

At the end of the day, alcohol is a poison and is toxic to our bodies. So enjoy alcohol - but make sure you enjoy it responsibly. Got any tips of your own for preventing your hangover? Or even a recipe that cures even the worst of hangovers? Don't forget to post them on the StudentRecipes.com website!

Comments

  • Meg 4 years ago

    A few proper good tips to keep in mind :)