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Is moderation the answer? Sara Whatley discusses the merits of a non alcoholic Christmas

Whether you are enjoying an alcoholic beverage or a temperance drink this Christmas, the key to drinking well is moderation, suggests Sara Whatley

I’ve said it before in this wellness series and I’ll say it again: everything in moderation. The age old adage speaks so much truth across the board, from the physical to the mental aspects of life. And none more so than when it comes to drinking. 


Drinking alcohol in moderation is fine; in fact some say good for you. It can be one of life’s great pleasures to taste a fine wine or sip a fancy cocktail. In fact almost every situation has an alcoholic beverage associated with it – mulled wine at Christmas, a crisp beer in the summer – so much so that sometimes it can be hard to get away from drinking. This can be particularly true during the festive season when drinks parties and festive get togethers down the pub are abundant. 


We also get bombarded with drinks offers at this time of year and are encouraged to stock our cupboards with our favourite tipples. It’s easy to slip into drinking more than we usually would, and we may find ourselves chasing that bubbly feeling we get after one or two units of alcohol by drinking more and more. But what are the effects of this? 


Short Term 
Losing control
Being hungover
Feeling sluggish
Spending lots of money
Putting on weight

Long Term 
Organ damage
High blood pressure
Social problems
Behavioural problems
Loss of job/family/home


There is lots of support available for cutting down on alcohol and the huge benefits this can have. This can include feeling and looking better, having more energy and zest for life, better weight control and a happier bank balance. 


The rising popularity of low or no alcohol drinks on the market makes cutting down easier too. Don’t be fooled by the watery or bitter offerings of yesteryear, these modern zero approach drinks have matured beautifully.

 
Find near-beers that still deliver the pop, glug and fizz that every good larger should, imitation spirits and mixers full of flavour and interest, and sin free wines and bubbly that sparkle with depth and long finishes. And we haven’t even mentioned all the other delicious non-alcoholic drinks available, from cordials to sparkling kombucha.


Good ways to cut down include alternating an alcoholic and non-alcoholic drink, choosing smaller measures, going for lower ABV drinks and giving yourself a few alcohol free days a week.  


The key to an enjoyable drink is that it should be full of flavour and depth, interesting notes and hints to pick apart and quench your adult desire for a satisfying drink. Happily both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks can perfectly deliver this remit, and with moderation help make a smashing Christmas for everyone.  

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