The Effects of Alcohol on Your Heart

The Effects of Alcohol on Your Heart

Sarah McLoughlin
Posted by Sarah McLoughlin

Date: Thursday, 07 December 2017. -  
Blog, Defibrillators

During the Christmas and New Year period there is an increase in festivities and events such as family get togethers, parties and work functions. Whilst this is a fun and festive time of year for all, it can also mean a time of excess, especially when it comes to alcohol.

With the Christmas party season in full swing, it is important to consider the detrimental effects that alcohol can have, especially on the heart.

Know your limits

In order to minimise health risks as a result of alcohol consumption, the UK Chief Medical Officers’ guideline for both men and women is to not drink any more than 14 units a week, on a regular basis.

As alcoholic drinks come in different strengths and sizes, units are a way to tell how strong your drink is and can act as a guideline for you to know when you have reached your limit.

A large wine glass can hold 250ml, which is one third of a bottle. This means there can be around three units or more in just one glass. So, a few drinks would result in consuming a whole bottle of wine and almost three times the government’s unit guidelines. Smaller glasses are usually 175ml and some pubs can serve 125ml.

It is still possible to enjoy alcohol and be merry, safely by being responsible. You can do this by following some simple tips to manage your drinking:

  • Eat before or whilst you drink and avoid salty snacks that will make you want to drink more.
  • Be assertive, do not let anyone pressure you into drinking excessively.
  • Know and understand your limits and do not exceed them.
  • Stay busy, do not just sit and drink.
  • Keep track of your drinks, drink water in between where possible.
  • Drink slowly, take sips not gulps.

It is important to remember to never drive whilst under the influence of alcohol even if you think you feel completely sober. Even a small amount of alcohol can affect the ability to drive so there is no way to tell whether you are within the legal limit.

Alcohol can make you drowsy, affect your vision and how you judge speed and distance as well as slowing down your reactions and reducing your co-ordination.

What alcohol can do to the heart

Heavy drinking can put you at risk of developing serious health conditions such as liver disease, cancer and peptic ulcers. Regular alcohol consumption is known to increase blood pressure, over time, high blood pressure will put a strain on the heart muscle and can lead to cardiovascular disease, putting you at risk of a heart attack and stroke.

Drink Responsibly

Do you have any exciting plans for the festive season? Let us know by getting involved and joining the conversation by tweeting us @imptraining. Remember to stay safe and where alcohol is concerned, it is important to know your limits and drink responsibly.