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Reduce Your Alcohol Intake

By: Jack Claridge - Updated: 4 Aug 2010 | comments*Discuss
Alcohol Intake Stress Exercise Health

It is fairly safe to say that many people turn to alcohol as a means of reducing their stress levels. However it should also be made clear that these stress levels are not actually being reduced and are simply being put to one side whilst the effects of the alcohol overwhelm the senses.

This feeling of ‘numbing the senses’ is one that is enjoyed the world over and where once society looked upon the consumption of alcohol as a recreational pastime it has now become the means to block out the rest of the world when things become too much.

As a result the numbers of registered alcoholics has risen and the number of alcohol-related illness and subsequent deaths has also risen. It is with this in mind that we should all – especially those who use alcohol as a means to cope with stress – consider reducing our alcohol intake.

Recommended Alcohol Levels

The current recommended alcohol levels for men are:

  • 14 units per week for women
  • 21 units per week for men

If you are consuming more than these recommended amounts then you need to address the reasons as to why this might be.

Many people drink because they enjoy it, many do it because they have become addicted to it and as we have already mentioned, many do it because of their stress levels.

Alcohol and Stress

Stress and alcohol are now well established as cause and effect – if you drink alcohol then you will it is reasonably safe to assume – drink more alcohol as you become more stressed. As your stress levels increase so too will your alcohol intake which can lead to you becoming susceptible to a variety of medical conditions including:

  • Alcoholism
  • Diabetes
  • Reduced Mortality
  • Mood Swings
  • Liver Failure
  • Pancreatic Failure
  • Kidney and Bowel Problems
  • Heart Problems

Of course this is not an exhaustive list but it does show the most common problems caused by an increased intake of alcohol.

If you do feel that you consume too much alcohol there are some steps you can take to try and reduce your intake and improve your health overall.

Reduce your Stress Levels

By reducing the amount of stress in your life you may find that you need to consume less alcohol in order to get by.

  • If you are under pressure at work ask for help.
  • If you are having problems of a financial nature it is best to discuss them.
  • Try not to bottle things up; doing so only compounds the problem.


Many people who consume more alcohol than normal do not exercise with any great frequency. If you are suffering from a lack of exercise why not try:

  • Going for walks; slowly building up the distance over which you walk
  • Swimming
  • Cycling
  • Joining a gym; where you can receive professional fitness advice


Another companion of a high alcohol intake is a high food intake. Some of the foods which are consumed in conjunction with food are high in salt and fat content, stodgy and often consumed as a result of consuming too much alcohol.

Why not try reducing your sugar and salt intake, eating more fruit and vegetable and eating more fresh pastas and fish.

If you are in any doubt as to your alcohol intake – or indeed if you know that you are consuming too much alcohol – you should consult your doctor who will be able to advise on the best course of action to reduce your alcohol levels and try to minimise the damage done – or being done – to your body.

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