Since having the children I tend to avoid alcohol when possible, the thought of a hangover while dealing with four children is enough to put anyone off the drink. But throughout December, and especially over Christmas and New Year, we have far more social gatherings, parties, nights out and celebratory drinks with friends, and alcohol always features heavily! In my younger years I was able to drink for four nights running without so much as a headache, where as these days the hangovers are unbearable, lasting for not just one, but sometimes even three days, and regardless of how many times I tell myself that I won’t ever drink again, it’s very easy to forget when the Prosecco is being poured!
I was interested to read about the new campaign, Switch It Up, encouraging Brits to cut down on alcohol to reap the rewards from drinking in moderation. During a recent survey, conducted by AB InBev, it was unsurprising to read that 14% of people have missed a day at work because of a hangover, a statistic that I suspect is actually far higher, 18% of people have seen a wedding ruined by someone that drank too much (I’m hoping this wasn’t me….), 17% have seen a family gathering affected and 16% of people have seen a work event spoilt. Nearly a quarter of people aged 18-34 have been to a birthday that has been interrupted by someone who can’t moderate their drinking. And faced with those statistics it’s quite obvious that although drinking in moderation is perfectly acceptable, drinking too much just isn’t fun for anyone. And nor is the hangover!
After a recent night out with friends, and feeling more than a little bit rough the next day, I decided that it would be a great opportunity to try the Switch It Up challenge, if nothing else to give my liver a break before Christmas and New Year. In all honesty I very rarely drink unless I’m on a night out, which as you can imagine, with four children, isn’t as often as it used to be, but for Gaz who drinks on a regular basis, even if just a few cans on a weekend, the challenge was a little tougher and yet once I had roped him in to the challenge, there was no backing out!!
We were sent several cases of Beck’s non-alcoholic beer to sample, the idea being that we should alternate alcoholic drinks with a Becks’s Blue or Beck’s Blue Lemon, or switch it up altogether. For the purpose of the challenge we decided to go the whole way and switch it up completely so that we could really feel the benefit.
As someone who doesn’t ordinarily drink beer, I was pleasantly surprised at how nice the Beck’s Blue Lemon was, and for Gaz who loves beer, he was surprised that the Beck’s Blue was very much like drinking the real thing! Gaz often says that the reason he likes to have a beer on a weekend is simply because he finds it so refreshing, and not because he necessarily wants to feel the effects of the alcohol. For me, who would definitely describe myself as a binge drinker, I don’t particularly enjoy the taste of alcohol and would only ever drink to get drunk.
Either way, it was fairly easy to stick to the challenge, especially given the fact that we had an alcohol free substitute, and by the end of the week we could both feel the benefits. Waking up on Sunday without a hangover was lovely, even more so when it meant that we could be up and out with the children enjoying Christmas activities without a pounding headache or feeling nauseous. Gaz also found that getting up on Monday morning for work was so much easier after avoiding alcohol over the weekend.
During the survey 47% of people claimed that the best part of drinking in moderation was the lack of a headache the next day, and I have to agree. Alcohol is so de-hydrating and by switching it up Gaz and I both felt healthier in ourselves. We were both surprised to read that the average Brit spends £47 a week on alcohol which, although for us is far less, amounts to £600 a year. I like the idea of putting aside the money saved from buying alcohol and using it for a family day out, a special treat or just a nice meal for the two of us, preferably one that doesn’t involve alcohol!
After our week of switching it up I feel far more motivated to drink in moderation this coming year, if someone could just remind me of that on New Years Eve I’d be really grateful…..!!