Alcohol: the danger of Friday night drinks

Health Hub staff
Monday, January 4, 2010
Dangers of alcohol. Image: Getty

Wonder why end of week drinks end in tears?

After a hectic week at work, Friday night drinks can, for many of us, be the light at the end of a dark tunnel. But in terms of what's good for your body and mind, this highly anticipated event is a disaster waiting to happen — as anyone who has finished the night in a flood of tears or scuffle will attest.

Ever wonder why your end-of-week tipples are more likely to end in tears? Well, it's because your body is pumped full of stress hormones, such as adrenaline, which in turn cause the blood vessels to expand in order to get the blood to your muscles faster. So imagine what happens when you drink your first wine or beer. The alcohol is transported around the body much more quickly, and your favourite drink suddenly becomes potent.

Sorry ladies, scientific research show females are far less able to handle alcohol than men because we have smaller livers. This means that alcohol is metabolised more slowly and stays in the system longer. Women also have higher levels of body fat, so more alcohol ends up being absorbed and released later — yes, that's right, we keep getting drunker. We all know what happens next…

But of course, the idea of forgoing Friday-night drinks altogether is incomprehensible, particular during this party season. So take precautions. First, make sure you eat a decent amount before your first drink. This will effectively keep your drink in the stomach longer and slow down absorption so physical and emotional reactions are less influenced.

Opt for fibre-rich foods such as jacket potatoes and bread or rice in wholemeal varieties. Make your first drink last. Sip it slowly and order a soft drink or water at the same time. Avoid "rounds" as this has the tendency for people to drink at the same pace — not ideal if the others in the group are six-foot tall males. And finally, you don't have to be drunk to have fun. If you start feeling tipsy, swap for a non-alcoholic drink.

Your say: Do you love having a drink on Friday night?

User comments
Just those who have a life would accept this, but the rest only talk about ''I want to enjoy life and why die with regrets etc etc blah blah''. You said it in this article, ''you don't have to be drunk to have fun''. But sadly there are many with low self esteem that have to drink to have fun.
Maggy,Mount Wellington I am so with you.Its true when the atmosphere is good and everyone's happy why not.I love Friday drinks with friends.I usually invite my friends over for a meal and drinks in my house.We seldom go out to bars except for work Dos or special occasions.We prefer to drink at home much relaxing.
Lets get trashed.. its FRIDAY!!!!!!!!!
I am a lover to friday night drinks after a hard week of work (well deserved)..Saturday and sunday to recover before another week starts...When the atmosphere is happy, then everyone goes home happy...Life is too short to think what to do and not to do! Why die with regrets...Love life always will try with my upmost to enjoy and appreciate it.
i use to love living for my friday night box of stienys, i never thought it wasnt bad because i stayed at home cheaper. get retarted and have a feed go to bed never to drink again til the following friday. but combine that box with going out oollll dangerous!!! the night would always be random and often turned into one of my mates having a fight, some driving home drunk, me someone getting stranded so now Ive up graded to thursdays nights I have my 3 beers in my local pub and then go home. These days id rather get my nails done and pay for a massage.

ThinkstockThe most effective ways to turn yourself off smoking Image: Getty ImagesQuit smoking for your kids Limit office party drinks, experts warn/ThinkstockLimit office party drinks, experts warn Image: Getty ImagesHow smoking damages your love life

Ask our experts

Should I continue my affair with a married man? Our answer SEX & RELATIONSHIPS EXPERT Dr Gabrielle Morrissey

What's your BMI?


Body Mass Index Measure your BMI >>Find out if your body is in the healthy body mass index range. Calorie CounterCalorie CounterKeep track of your daily dietary intake. Burn BarometerBurn BarometerHow much exercise should you be doing?