Responsible Drinking

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Foods To Avoid With Alcohol

They say that it is wise not to consume alcohol on empty stomach and that one should eat in between the drinks, do you know why? Here’s why…a tummy-full of food leads to slower absorption of alcohol in your body. Excessive alcohol messes up your system in multiple ways which include physical, mental, emotional and social after-effects. It is safe to say that binge drinking is directly proportional to binge eating. Picture this- waking up with a terrible hangover and now imagine the after effects of outrageously bad food pairing with alcohol! We bet that it is something you wouldn’t possibly want to experience, now would you? Once again, we come flying wearing our cape of good Samaritans to your rescue.  We’ve made a short list of food you must avoid pairing with alcohol.

Salt Isn’t So Good

Alcohol consumption in excess leads to dehydration as it is diuretic. It simply means that consumption of alcohol leads to a decreased production of anti-diuretic hormone which is used by our body to reabsorb water, thus leading to loss of fluid through excessive urination. Salty snacks make you feel thirsty and unless you are opting for a glass of water in between your many drinks, you’re in the danger zone because you’d be left dehydrated even more. Avoid pairing salty snacks with alcohol and give your bladder a break!

Honey, Watch The Sugar Rush!

Sugar and alcohol aren’t the best combination for your blood sugar levels. Plus, combining sweets with alcohol tends to aggravate the intoxication caused by alcohol and makes you feel dehydrated.

Talking about sugar, let’s divert to sugar in aerated drinks. We know that alcohol affects your blood sugar level by altering it negatively. So even though you might love that bourbon with aerated drink or love to enjoy your rum with cola, it ain’t helping you much besides making your blood sugar level go into a maddening overdrive and adding unwanted kilos to your weight.

Ditch the Dairy Products

Why, you ask? Because it’s a myth that dairy products act as coating to your stomach lining to avoid getting drunk. Most of the alcohol is consumed through small intestine so consuming dairy products won’t help you much. On the contrary, combining alcohol with dairy products is likely to give you heartburn and cause indigestion because they’re difficult to digest.

Go Easy On Spicy-Greasy

Again, eating spicy-greasy foods is not going to make you the cleverest of Toms in town. Combining alcohol with such foods can cause reflux and severe gastritis. Alcohol disturbs the digestive system and acts as an irritant to lower esophagus by relaxing it which causes acidity from stomach to reflux. Next time, when you feel the urge to place an order for that bucket of spicy chicken wings with beer- think twice, think thrice.

We part ways with you with few more words of wisdom, drink responsibly and ‘be mindful’ of what you drink and what you eat.

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Withdrawal Symptoms of Alcohol

If you’ve landed up on this page, chances are that you’re either contemplating quitting alcohol or you must’ve already. Kudos to you, let’s begin by giving you a little pat on your back for taking this first brave step towards alcohol-free life. Another scenario may be that you’re reading it to help your loved one who’s going through bouts of alcohol addiction and wants to quit or experiencing withdrawal symptoms. Great job done by you dear good Samaritan, for making efforts to help someone by offering encouragement and support. Apart from a strong will, a person also needs a strong support system, such as you, to get rid of alcohol dependency. Now assuming, that you’ve done a thorough research on the subject, more glory to you! But, if you’re running around like a headless chicken, breathe easy we say, we’ve got some useful information to share with you.

Let’s get a clearer picture of few basics here. To what degree would you get alcohol withdrawal symptoms depends on the question whether you are a moderate or social drinker or are you heavily addicted to alcohol.

Moderate drinking is consumption of alcohol within the prescribed limits of guidelines which are not more than 2 units per day for women, no more than 3 units per day for men. It also specifies the per week consumption of maximum 14 drinks for men and 7 drinks for women. Social drinking is a commonly accepted norm in various cultures across the world. To say that a person is a social drinker, it usually means that the individual only drinks occasionally in the company of others and usually drinks within the prescribed limits. Moving to heavy drinking, as per the guidelines, for women it means consuming alcohol more than 8 drinks per week and for men it is alcohol consumption of more than 15 units per week. Heavy drinking falls in the high-risk category. When an individual is a heavy drinker and reduces the consumption of alcohol significantly, or suddenly stops drinking altogether, there are varied withdrawal symptoms he/she would experience.

Alcohol is known to affect a part of brain known an ‘amygdala’ which triggers the ‘fight or flight’ response. The conflicting fight or flight response is initiated when this part of brain cannot form a correct distinction between a real and a perceived threat. Alcohol suppresses the ‘fight or flight’ responses thus making one feel more relaxed. When heavy drinkers quit drinking alcohol, it alters the chemicals in the brain and the ‘amygdala’ gets into a hyper active mode. So, these withdrawal symptoms are caused by the way our brain responds to heavy consumption of alcohol.

The symptoms of alcohol withdrawal may appear anywhere ranging from six hours to a few days after the last drink consumed. They may worsen for over two to three days and may persist for weeks to follow. They are more noticeable when one wakes up with lesser blood alcohol content.

The symptoms include varied mild to moderate emotional and physical symptoms such as anxiety, fatigue, nausea etc. They are more severe if an individual is a heavy drinker. But do not be discouraged, if you’ve decided to quit drinking alcohol you must plan it wisely. Another important point to remember is that you must take necessary medical assistance once you decide to get rid of alcohol dependency to keep a better tab on your health. We’ve listed down various symptoms associated with alcohol withdrawal.

Psychological and Emotional Symptoms

-Irritation

-Anxiety

-Confusion

-Insomnia

-Agitation

Physical Symptoms

-Feeling of shakiness/ tremors

-Nausea

-Vomiting

-Sweating

-Increased heart rate

-Headache

-High Blood Pressure

In some extreme cases, these symptoms may get aggravated and even cause hallucinations, seizures, high fever. In the worst-case scenario and to an extreme level, alcohol withdrawal symptoms can also potentially turn life-threatening and one must seek immediate medical assistance.

To conclude, we’ll reiterate the words of wisdom for you. Never go cold turkey with alcohol, which means that you mustn’t quit suddenly. Make this a gradual shift because your body and mind need time to adapt. Remember that being brave and being stupid are two different things, please do seek medical assistance to make this brave transition to alcohol-free life. However, do not be discouraged, with appropriate medical assistance and a rock-solid emotional support system, you or your loved one can get rid of this dependency.

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Count Your Many Calories

Have you ever wondered the amount of calories you’re welcoming as you gulp down that fifth shot right around midnight? Well, its more common than you think. But then we never get around to actually looking for the answers, do we?

Contrary to popular belief, its not just the food or the taste-changers we eat while drinking that give us the belly-guilt. Getting right to the point; let’s look at a wide array of popular alcoholic drinks and dissect their calorie counts.

*We’re dealing with standard volumes i.e. a glass of champagne and wine, a can of beer and a shot of all others.

Champagne:

Why did we start with champagnes when almost every party ends with one? Because we love irony that’s why.

A standard glass of champagne contains 96 CAL, which should bring good news to all such partyholics out there.

Vodka/Gin:

Here’s one which which will grab the most attention given its popularity. We’ve often heard that non-coloured drinks or spirits have the least amount of calories when compared with other kids of alcohol on the market. This is where vodka and gin enter the fray.

A standard shot of vodka/gin contains 96 CAL. Just that! Remember this next time when you refuse to take a shot with somebody whilst settling for the next whiskey-coke peg.

Rum:

Giving some much needed warmth to your body isn’t the only reason why we love rum; especially come winter season.

With an impressive calorie count of 97 per shot, rum with water should be on the top of your priority list right from November to February at least. Why water? Even though rum with coke is clichéd, it is a very high-on-calorie option because of the latter.

Tequila:

Another recommended option is the tequila. Agreed it’s a very occasional option come birthdays or graduation parties, but a calorie count of 104 might change your mind.

Also, its alcohol content per shot is relatively higher than most of the other options readily available. However, do proceed with caution as it tends to hit instantly after a while.

Whiskey & Scotch:

Just like vodka and gin, whiskey and scotch follow the same numbers. With calorie counts of 105 per serving, they’re not too far behind.

Where things go wrong however, is when mixers like coke, red bull or juices are picked. This just takes the calorie count to a whole new level. Not only does the buzz come later, it just dampens the overall taste and gives you carbs that you don’t need.

Wine:

Be it red or white wine, the calorie count ranges between 120-125. The sad thing for wine lovers is the fact that wine-drinking doesn’t involve any mixers.

There’s no option but to drink it neat and it doesn’t hit quickly either. So, if you’re 6-7 glasses down, you can imagine the plight. It truly doesn’t make for good reading. An interesting fact is that white wine on average is carb-lighter than its red counterpart.

Beer:

And last but not the least; here’s the most loved drink internationally – Beer! The calorie count does suggest otherwise though; but I guess the taste is just too enticing.

1 can of beer has about 145 CAL which makes for a pretty high number. What’s worse is its alcohol content; you have to drink more if you want to feel something substantial.

How to handle these calories?

  1. Always go with water as a mixer hands down.
  2. Avoid fizzy cold and sugary drinks.
  3. Better to eat a decent meal at home rather than hogging on starters and tasters whilst drinking.
  4. Don’t just sleep right after you eat.
  5. Limit the amount of alcohol you intake. Don’t go overboard.

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