two friends enjoying beer at lunch

You’ve had a long day, and you want a drink to unwind. Nothing like a night out with the girls to relax and de-stress.

A cocktail while enjoying girls’ night out will not hurt—taken in small quantities, alcohol lowers inhibitions and lightens the drinker's mood. But what happens when we take alcohol in excess?

In Your Head

asian lady massaging her forehead

Try downing shot after shot of alcohol with a male friend and you will find that the alcohol gets to your head faster. This is simply because you are smaller.

Not only that, a woman's body clears alcohol more slowly, greatly increasing your post-drinking hangover—yes, that pounding headache and general discomfort will affect you more than it does your male friend.

Related: Alcohol and Health—Setting Your Drink Limits

What’s The Damage?

two couples enjoying drinks

In addition, there is increased risk of injury from accidents, especially in drink-and-drive accidents, due to poorer hand and limb coordination.

Drinking in excess also increases your risk of liver damage and cirrhosis, serious conditions that can be fatal.

Related: To Drink or Not to Drink?

Baby, Don’t Hurt Me

a pregnant asian lady holding her head in pain

Most women will not know they are pregnant until the second month. Drinking when pregnant will harm the health of the unborn child.

Drinking also increases the risk of miscarriage, low birth weight, abnormalities and cognitive defects—affecting attention, intelligence, language, and memory.

The effects continue after birth, too. If you drink while breastfeeding, the alcohol in your bloodstream passes into breast milk.

Even low levels of alcohol intake reduces the amount of milk you produce, and causes irritability, poor feeding, and sleep disturbances in the infant.

Related: Do's and Don'ts in Pregnancy

Tips (Not Tipsy)

two friends enjoying glassess of wine on a rooftop

If you do choose to drink, here are some tips to help minimise your risks.

Dial M for Moderation

Women should drink no more than 1 standard drink a day. That’s:

  • A can (330 ml) regular beer
  • Half glass (100 ml) wine *height of glass is 15cm
  • 1 nip (30 ml) spirits

Love cocktails? You might not realise it, but cocktails like Screwdriver or Bourbon Coke can contain 30ml of spirits or more.

Instead of cocktails, why not try mocktails? They’re just as yummy, and you don’t get the hangover!

Eat, Drink and Be Merry

  • Eat before and after you drink
  • Space out your drinks, sipping slowly
  • Alternate your drinks with non-alcoholic beverages
  • Eat food while drinking to slow down alcohol absorption
  • Watching your weight? Cut back on fat during the day to make room for the additional calories from your drinks

Do Not Drink and Drive

Alcohol affects hand-eye coordination. If you plan to drink:

  • Take a taxi to the party
  • Take a taxi home

If you need to drive:

  • Choose only non-alcoholic drinks
  • Tell your friends you are driving so they won't buy you drinks

Get Help, If Needed

Be honest and seek help if you have a problem with alcohol. Reach out to any one of the agencies dedicated to helping people with alcohol dependence or addiction.

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