CHRISTMAS is a time for giving, a time for sharing . . . and a time for going to more and more social events that involve drinking much, much more alcohol than usual.
Public Health England found we spend more than £2billion on booze in December pub outings alone.
David Cummings – The Sun We’ve challenged Leah Turner and her husband Chris, to undertake a range of challenges after four large glasses of wine David Cummings – The Sun Leah Turner and her husband Chris, both 27, from Bicester, Oxon test their abilities after drinking wine
But while most of us think we are “fine” chatting to the boss at the Christmas party after a few glasses of fizz, when faced with the truth in black and white, it’s a different story.
We challenged Leah Turner and her husband Chris, both 27, from Bicester, Oxon, to undertake a range of everyday challenges as they got through four large glasses of normal-strength wine.
Nursing assistant Leah, who is mum to daughter Indie, 19 months, and Chris, a survival equipment specialist in the RAF, both say they drink more than usual during the festive period.
Here, they tell JENNY FRANCIS how they got on with our tasks both before – and after – a few drinks.
David Cummings – The Sun Leah and Chris’s tasks included tongue twisters, reapplying make up and knotting a tie David Cummings – The Sun Our couple compare their strengths after alcohol ahead of Christmas rush
- Leah and Chris were asked to say this classic tongue-twister after each glass as we charted the number of mistakes:
Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers
A peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked
If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers
Where’s the peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked?
- At most Christmas parties, there will come a time in the evening when you need to adjust the way you look. Leah had to apply eyeliner after each glass, while Chris was made to knot a tie, with us noting down how long each task took.
LEAH’S TONGUE TWISTER
Leah Turner reading her tongue twister before and after drinking the wine
No glasses: No mistakes.
First glass: No mistakes.
Second glass: One hesitation.
Third glass: One hesitation.
Fourth glass: Three hesitations.
Leah says: “I’ve always been good at tongue twisters. Even after a couple of glasses, I did it without much problem.
“It was after glasses three and four that I hesitated a bit. I just stumbled on some of the words, as I couldn’t get my head around what I was supposed to be saying.”
REAPPLYING EYE MAKE-UP
Leah’s attempts at reapplying her eye makeup after drinking four glasses of wine
No glasses: Perfect line with a flick.
First glass: Bold line with a flick, slightly uneven on right.
Second glass: Straight but not filled to lashes, less bold.
Third glass: Thicker but not straight, with uneven flicks.
Fourth glass: Really uneven, one eye thick, one eye thinner. Lots of gaps and an uneven flick.
Leah says: “I put my make-up on when I’ve been drinking all the time – I’ll think twice now. I felt confident but doing the line after just one glass was harder. After four, I was useless. I’m surprised I got it as good as I did!”
David Cummings – The Sun Leah says she won’t be doing her make up after drinking alcohol in the future
“I’m not surprised at how wobbly I felt after four glasses but I am surprised at how much of an effect just two glasses had on me.
“My eyeliner is so much worse after drinking just one glass of wine.
“I always reapply my make-up when I’m out drinking…now I’ll think again because it looks awful!
“I was really good at the tongue twister at the start and didn’t make any mistakes. But I did have to really concentrate after the last two glasses and I hesitated a few times.”
CHRIS’S TONGUE TWISTER
Chris made many mistakes with his tongue twister before and after the wine
No glasses: Three mistakes.
First glass: Five mistakes.
Second glass: Five mistakes.
Third glass: Five mistakes.
Fourth glass: Three mistakes.
Chris says: “I started off badly but the more I drank, the easier it became in a weird way. I think I loosened up and got more confident. I still stumbled but I definitely felt more loose-lipped.”
KNOTTING A TIE
Chris should probably do his tie before starting to drink in future
No glasses: Tied perfectly in 40 seconds.
First glass: Tied perfectly in 45 seconds.
Second glass: Tied well in 33 seconds.
Third glass: Tied untidily in 30 seconds.
Fourth glass: Tied in 37 seconds, collar bent and not straight.
Chris says: “I used to work in a suit shop, so I’m pretty good at tying ties! I felt like I did a good job every time but I made a right mess of the last one. The alcohol made me rush it.”
David Cummings – The Sun Chris was amazed at how different he felt after drinking the wine
“I didn’t think two glasses of wine would affect me, as I can drink four prints of beer without feeling much. It really did; though.
“At first I took time over my tie but after two glasses I was more careless and it’s not as neat. It was the same with the tongue twister. I wasn’t great at the start but after three glasses I got better because I didn’t overthink it.
“I’m amazed at the difference it made. I’d have to be careful talking to my boss after three glasses as I’m obviously much more likely to say things I wouldn’t usually say.”
SOCIABLE AT FIRST, THEN SAD
MEN and women should have no more than 14 units of alcohol per week, according to the Government’s latest health recommendations.
A unit is equivalent to one 125ml glass of wine, half a pint of lager or beer, or a single shot of spirits.
Sun nutritionist AMANDA URSELL says:
“Alcohol initially reduces your stress levels and makes you feel happier and more sociable. But by three drinks it can have the opposite effect on you and make you sadder, reflective, stroppy and prone to outbursts. The brain chemicals change with more drinks, affecting your balance and coordination.
This means you are more likely to fall over and embarrass yourself. The final stage is passing out, which obviously is the last thing you want in front of your boss.”
Good Morning Britain warns mums about the dangers of drinking too much alcohol
TOP TIPPLE TIPS
- EAT before you start drinking. That will slow down the rate at which alcohol levels rise in your blood. The alcohol still has to be processed in the liver but you will feel the effects less quickly. So devour the canapes when you arrive at a party.
- Pace yourself with a soft drink between each alcoholic one.
- Don’t let people keep topping up your drink without you realising how much you are putting away.
- Dilute drinks when you can – go for white-wine spritzers, say, lager shandy or a shot of spirits with lots of mixers.
- Make sure you have booked a trusted taxi home and whatever you do, don’t drive.