Most of us are found of a few drinks but did you know that just a single night of binge drinking is enough to adversely impact your health?
Firstly, we’re all familiar with the term, but what exactly is binge drinking?
For men it is defined as drinking five or more drinks in the space of a few hours, while for women it’s consuming four or more drinks in two hours.
“Binge drinking does not necessarily mean you’re an alcoholic,” says Martin Preston, the founder and chief executive at rehab retreat Delamere .
But he clarifies that anyone dependent on alcohol may take part in nights of drinking on a more regular basis, leading to ‘dangerous consequences for our health’.
Alcohol’s effect on the body is wide and far reaching, with the brain, stomach, liver, heart, and kidneys all involved.
Preston explained: “When you drink alcohol, it goes straight into your bloodstream and is carried to the brain. Vision can blur, co-ordination decreases, and memory is impaired.
“Binge drinking can also cause people to black out,” he warned.
“This is because the increase in the amount of alcohol in your brain can mean that you stop forming new memories. The risk of blacking out also becomes further heightened when a person binge drinks without eating anything first.”
Consuming vast amounts of alcohol is very bad for the stomach, damaging its lining and also radiating to cause chest pain.
Preston added that drinking alcohol can cause dangerous fat to build up in the liver, which can lead to the organ becoming diseased.
Drinking too much can also cause heart palpitations, and eventually lead to high blood pressure and a weak heart.
“Just like the liver, the kidneys are designed to filter out any waste or unneeded fluid in the body,” said Preston.
“But binge drinking, even once, can get in the way of what they are supposed to do.”
He added: “Alcohol stops certain hormones from being produced that will help your kidneys put water back into your body.
“When alcohol suppresses hormones it can cause dehydration which may contribute to how bad a hangover you have the next day.”
To reduce health risks linked to alcohol, people are urged to drink no more than 14 units a week.
This is the equivalent to six pints of regular-strength beer or ten small glasses of lower-strength wine.
The NHS advises people trying to cut down to simply have several drink-free days a week.