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Alcohol and Heart Health

Alcohol and Heart Health Dec blog

As we get closer to the end of the year, we find ourselves on the cusp of the highly anticipated ‘silly season’. With the excitement and festivities of this period comes a notable increase in alcohol consumption, but what does this mean for our heart health?


It is important to take a moment to consider the impact of the choosing to consume alcohol on our well-being and maintain the important balance of indulgence and responsibility. Join us as we explore the relationship between alcohol and heart health.


Statistics & Health Impacts

A UK poll has found that during the festive season, nearly 61% of drinkers tend to exceed their typical alcohol intake, marking a substantial increase. Additionally, one in five individuals (18%) acknowledges experiencing more frequent hangovers during this celebratory period.1

Understanding the implications of heightened alcohol consumption during the festive period requires a closer examination of its complex effects on the cardiovascular system. Prolonged and heavy drinking can contribute to conditions such as high blood pressure, irregular heart rhythms, and an increased risk of heart disease. Mitochondrial dysfunction, alterations in circulation, inflammatory responses, oxidative stress, programmed cell death, and structural damage to the cardiovascular system, particularly the heart, have all been associated with excess alcohol consumption in a new study.2

It is evident that the cardiovascular system is highly sensitive to the effects of alcohol, and habitual overindulgence can lead to detrimental consequences.


Practicing Moderation

Amidst the celebrations of the holiday season and while remaining health-conscious, it's essential to embrace the festivities without harbouring guilt about indulging in alcohol. The key lies in adopting a mindset of moderation, recognising that enjoying yourself does not have to equate to excessive alcohol consumption.

The concept of moderation extends beyond a mere restriction of alcohol intake; it involves savouring the moment without compromising one's well-being. Embracing moderation can have a positive impact on heart health, striking a balance between partaking in the festivities and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

To effectively practice moderation during social gatherings, consider the following tips:

  1. Alternate with Non-Alcoholic Options: intersperse alcoholic beverages with non-alcoholic ones. This not only reduces overall alcohol intake but also ensures hydration and helps pace the drinking.
  2. Set limits and stick to them: Establishing personal limits on the number of drinks and adhering to them can prevent unintentional overindulgence.
  3. Sip slowly: Enjoy the flavor of each drink by sipping slowly. This not only enhances the experience but also allows the body to process the alcohol more effectively.
  4. Eat well: Consuming a balanced meal before drinking can slow down the absorption of alcohol. This can mitigate its impact and contribute to a more moderate drinking experience.
  5. Stay active: Engage in activities that don't revolve around alcohol. Whether it's dancing, playing games, or simply socializing, staying active can distract from constant drinking.
  6. Have a designated driver: Plan ahead for safe transportation. Having a designated driver or opting for alternative transportation methods ensures a safe journey home.


Low-sugar Mocktail Recipes

We've selected some tasty low-sugar mocktail recipes that make celebrations fun without compromising your health. Opting for low-sugar alternatives not only reduces the risk of cardiovascular issues but also keeps the festive cheer alive without the need for alcohol. Remember, staying hydrated is key, and these mocktails provide a delicious way to quench your thirst.

  1. Watermelon Mocktail
  2. Margarita Mocktail
  3. Mojito Mocktail


Alcohol and Heart Health 1


As we quickly approach the festive season, balancing celebration with heart health is crucial. Research and statistics highlight the impact of excessive alcohol on cardiovascular health, emphasising the need for moderation. Practical tips ensure a balanced approach during gatherings, from alternating with non-alcoholic options to having a designated driver. Our low sugar mocktail recipes offer a tasty alternative, showing that celebrations can be both enjoyable and heart health conscious. Here's to a season of moderation, well-being, and festive cheer!



Disclaimer This information is general and not conclusive. Follow any guidelines and advice from your doctor or specialist, health care, or multidisciplinary team, for your personalised patient-centred needs and care. Inquire about a patient advocate group regarding your specific needs. Call 000 if you are experiencing chest pain.

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