Alcohol not the way to beat the heat

Posted on: Tuesday, 14 January 2014

As summer temperatures soar, Turning Point experts are reminding people that excessive alcohol consumption is not the best way to cool off.

Turning Point Director Prof Dan Lubman said while it may be tempting to turn to beer, wine or spirits to beat the heat, it was important people were aware of the dehydrating effects of alcohol.

“Contrary to their image as thirst quenchers, beer and other alcoholic drinks are diuretics, disrupting our kidney’s ability to maintain hydration. This is the last thing you need on a stinking hot day.”

Turning Point Head of Clinical Services Dr Matthew Frei reinforced the importance of non-alcoholic beverages if alcohol is consumed.

“Particularly on dry hot days, the message is to keep up your intake of water to ensure you remain hydrated.”

Prof Lubman said with Australia Day also just around the corner, it was important that people heeded the alcohol safety message.

Our previous research has indicated a significant increase in alcohol intoxication cases on the day preceding most public holidays, with young people and Australia Day of particular concern,” Prof Lubman said.

“While we’re not about stopping people having fun, we would ask people be wary of how much they are drinking and look after their mates.”

According to National Health and Medical Research Council guidelines, drinking no more than two standard drinks on any day reduces the lifetime risk of harm from alcohol-related disease or injury. Furthermore, drinking no more than four standard drinks on a single occasion reduces the risk of alcohol related injury arising from that occasion.