As temperatures rise, Drinkaware, the national charity working to prevent and reduce alcohol misuse, is encouraging people to be more mindful if consuming alcohol in the summer sunshine. With longer evenings and scheduled events taking place across the country, summer is a great time for socialising which can often mean more opportunities to consume alcohol over prolonged periods. Here are some tips and advice to stay safe if you’re drinking in the hot weather.
DRINK PLENTY OF WATER
Alcohol can lead to dehydration. Alcohol is a diuretic and so, drinking too much can lead to dehydration because the alcohol makes your kidney produce more urine. Don’t forget to stay hydrated by alternating each alcoholic drink with water. Carrying a water bottle when outdoors or keeping a jug of water on the table can really help.
Our recent Drinkaware Index research found that less than 2% of Irish adults can correctly identify the HSE low-risk weekly alcohol guidelines. Tracking how much alcohol you’re drinking and sticking to the guidelines is an easy way to practise mindful drinking habits:
- Women: up to 11 standard drinks (110g pure alcohol) spread out over the week, with at least two alcohol-free days.
- Men: up to 17 standard drinks (170g pure alcohol) spread out over the week, with at least two alcohol-free days.
Alcohol and swimming do not mix. In fact, according to Irish Water Safety (IWS), alcohol is a factor in over 30% of all drownings in Ireland. Never swim after consuming alcohol and always be vigilant around open waters.
DRINKING AT HOME
61% of weekly drinking takes place in the home, which may increase when the weather is nice. Drinking at home or in the garden can often lead to drinking more than intended in a short space of time. Order our free standard drink measure cup to help pour accurate measures and make it easier to keep track of alcohol consumption at home. Avoid topping up your own or guests’ glasses, and stock up on non-alcoholic alternatives – there’s loads to choose from!
NEVER DRINK AND DRIVE
When planning to have a drink in the sunshine, leave the car at home. On average, it takes one hour for the body to process one standard drink abut this will vary for different people depending on a wide range of different factors. Common examples of one standard drink are a half pint of lager/stout/cider, a 100ml glass of wine or pub measure (35.5ml) of spirits.
BE SOBER CURIOUS
During the summer, more planned events and festivals pop up across the country, but alcohol doesn’t have to take centre stage. There are plenty of way to enjoy the summer sunshine that don’t involve alcohol. Enjoy a non-alcoholic beverage, go for a hike with family, or a cycle in the park. With Ireland experiencing a cultural shift towards a healthier lifestyle, it’s easier than ever to take steps towards more mindful drinking habits.