A preflight gin and tonic, a cocktail on the beach, something bubbly in the restaurant and a shot of local liqueur to end the night, alcohol has become an entwined aspect of many trips, offering holiday-goers a break from daily life and a sense of relaxation.
The addiction specialists at Private Rehab Clinic, Delamere, have warned those vacationing abroad this year as rising binge drinking can have serious health implications.
Try to incorporate alcohol-free days
On vacation, there always seems to be an ‘excuse’ or ‘reason’ to have a drink every day. It is essential to have alcohol-free days to give your liver a rest and allow your body to flush out alcohol toxins.
Drinking daily, especially when more than a couple of units, causes your liver to work less efficiently. The more alcohol you consume, the bigger its toll on your body, resulting in you feeling sluggish and suffering from a low mood.
Avoid drinking on an empty stomach
Eating a decent meal before drinking will slow down the absorption of alcohol. You will also be inclined to drink less if your stomach is already full.
Alcoholic drinks such as wine and spirits are very acidic and can cause harm to your stomach’s lining when consumed on an empty stomach or in large amounts.
Opt for low alcohol or alcohol-free drinks
Instead of automatically reaching for whatever alcoholic drink is available to feel part of the holiday celebrations, try some mocktails (alcohol-free cocktails). You can then either stick to drinking these or alternate between alcoholic beverages.
If you are worried family will pressurise you into drinking more than you would like, it is very unlikely that they will even notice or care if you are alternating or drinking a zero alcohol alternative.
Avoid ‘preloading’ before going out
Preloading is used when someone drinks alcohol at home to get themselves in the party mood before going out. This can be very dangerous and easily lead to a night of binge drinking and the risks that come with it.
Instead, ensure that you are well-rested, well-hydrated and have eaten a decent meal in preparation. You are much more likely to keep track of the amount of alcohol you consume this way.
Avoid stocking up on alcohol
Traditionally many people purchase alcohol duty-free at the airport, so they can have a selection of different alcoholic drinks to enjoy while sitting out in the sun or eating in the evening.
The risk is that there will be a constant supply of alcohol that will be all too easy to drink. You are also much more likely to mix your drinks, losing control of the amount of alcohol you consume. Instead, choose drinks of standard strength in units and a selection of non-alcoholic options that you can alternate with.
Mix up your normal routine
Replace your typical day of heavy drinking with exercise. Incorporating exercise into your holiday routine not only boasts a variety of health benefits but also promotes relaxation, reducing stress hormones in the body like adrenaline and cortisol.
Whether you choose an exercise class, a bike ride or even a run, exercise will reduce your body’s stress and prevent any alcohol temptations.