How Much Alcohol Is Good For You?

How Much Alcohol Is Good For You
Dietary Guidelines for Alcohol

  • Alcohol consumption is associated with a variety of short- and long-term health risks, including motor vehicle crashes, violence, sexual risk behaviors, high blood pressure, and various cancers (e.g., breast cancer).1
  • The risk of these harms increases with the amount of alcohol you drink. For some conditions, like some cancers, the risk increases even at very low levels of alcohol consumption (less than 1 drink).2,3
  • To reduce the risk of alcohol-related harms, the recommends that adults of legal drinking age can choose not to drink, or to drink in moderation by limiting intake to 2 drinks or less in a day for men or 1 drink or less in a day for women, on days when alcohol is consumed.4 The Guidelines also do not recommend that individuals who do not drink alcohol start drinking for any reason and that if adults of legal drinking age choose to drink alcoholic beverages, drinking less is better for health than drinking more.4 How Much Alcohol Is Good For You
  • Two in three adult drinkers report drinking above moderate levels at least once a month.5

The Guidelines note that some people should not drink alcohol at all, such as:

  • If they are pregnant or might be pregnant.
  • If they are younger than age 21.
  • If they have certain medical conditions or are taking certain medications that can interact with alcohol.
  • If they are recovering from an alcohol use disorder or if they are unable to control the amount they drink.4

The Guidelines also note that not drinking alcohol also is the safest option for women who are lactating. Generally, moderate consumption of alcoholic beverages by a woman who is lactating (up to 1 standard drink in a day) is not known to be harmful to the infant, especially if the woman waits at least 2 hours after a single drink before nursing or expressing breast milk.

  • The Guidelines note, “Emerging evidence suggests that even drinking within the recommended limits may increase the overall risk of death from various causes, such as from several types of cancer and some forms of cardiovascular disease. Alcohol has been found to increase risk for cancer, and for some types of cancer, the risk increases even at low levels of alcohol consumption (less than 1 drink in a day).” 4
  • Although past studies have indicated that moderate alcohol consumption has protective health benefits (e.g., reducing risk of heart disease), recent studies show this may not be true.6-12 While some studies have found improved health outcomes among moderate drinkers, it’s impossible to conclude whether these improved outcomes are due to moderate alcohol consumption or other differences in behaviors or genetics between people who drink moderately and people who don’t.6-12
  • Most U.S. adults who drink don’t drink every day.13 That’s why it’s important to focus on the amount people drink on the days that they drink. Even if women consume an average of 1 drink per day or men consume an average of 2 drinks per day, increases the risk of experiencing alcohol-related harm in the short-term and in the future.14
  • Drinking at levels above the moderate drinking guidelines significantly increases the risk of short-term harms, such as injuries, as well as the risk of long-term chronic health problems, such as some types of cancer.1,15,16
  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention., Accessed April 18, 2022.
  2. Di Castelnuovo A, Costanzo S, Bagnardi V, Donati M, Iacoviello L, de Gaetano G., Arch Intern Med 2006;166(22):2437-45.
  3. Rehm J, Shield K. Alcohol consumption. In: Stewart BW, Wild CB, eds., Lyon, France: International Agency for Research on Cancer; 2014
  4. U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.,9th Edition, Washington, DC; 2020.
  5. Henley SJ, Kanny D, Roland KB, et al., Alcohol Alcohol 2014;49(6):661-7.
  6. Chikritzhs T, Fillmore K, Stockwell T., Drug Alcohol Rev 2009;28:441–4.
  7. Andréasson S, Chikritzhs T, Dangardt F, Holder H, Naimi T, Stockwell T., In: Alcohol and Society 2014, Stockholm: IOGT-NTO & Swedish Society of Medicine, 2014.
  8. Knott CS, Coombs N, Stamatakis E, Biddulph JP., BMJ 2015;350:h384.
  9. Holmes MV, Dale CE, Zuccolo L, et al. BMJ 2014;349:g4164
  10. Naimi TS, Brown DW, Brewer RD, et al., Am J Prev Med 2005;28(4):369–73.
  11. Rosoff DB, Davey Smith G, Mehta N, Clarke TK, Lohoff FW., PLoS Med 2020;17:e1003410.
  12. Biddinger KJ, Emdin CA, Haas ME, et al., JAMA Netw Open 2022;5(3):e223849.
  13. Naimi TS., J Stud Alcohol Drug 2011;72:687.
  14. Holahan CJ, Holahan CK, Moos RH., Am J Prev Med 2022 (in press);10.1016.
  15. Vinson DC, Maclure M, Reidinger C, Smith GS. J Stud Alcohol Drugs 2003;64:358-66.
  16. Nelson DE, Jarman DW, Rehm J, et al. Am J Public Health 2013;103(4):641-8.
  • : Dietary Guidelines for Alcohol

    How much alcohol is good for the body?

    What’s Moderate Alcohol Intake? What’s a Drink? – Loose use of the terms “moderate” and “a drink” has fueled some of the ongoing debate about alcohol’s impact on health. In some studies, the term “moderate drinking” refers to less than 1 drink per day, while in others it means 3-4 drinks per day.

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    Exactly what constitutes “a drink” is also fairly fluid. In fact, even among alcohol researchers, there’s no universally accepted standard drink definition. In the U.S., 1 drink is usually considered to be 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1½ ounces of spirits (hard liquor such as gin or whiskey).

    Each delivers about 12 to 14 grams of alcohol on average, but there is a wider range now that microbrews and wine are being produced with higher alcohol content. The definition of moderate drinking is something of a balancing act. Moderate drinking sits at the point at which the health benefits of alcohol clearly outweigh the risks. The latest consensus places this point at no more than 1-2 drinks a day for men, and no more than 1 drink a day for women.

    Can alcohol be good for you?

    Surprising Ways Alcohol May Be Good for You Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson, MD on January 28, 2023 How Much Alcohol Is Good For You Before you start a petition to replace the office water cooler with a beer keg, let’s be clear: Alcohol is only healthy in smaller amounts – about 1 drink a day for women (5 ounces of wine, 12 ounces of beer, or 1.5 ounces of liquor) and 2 for men. After that, the benefits get hazier and the risks increase. How Much Alcohol Is Good For You If you’re in good shape, moderate drinking makes you 25% to 40% less likely to have a heart attack, stroke, or hardened arteries. This may be in part because small amounts of alcohol can raise your HDL (“good” cholesterol) levels. Heavy drinking, on the other hand, boosts your risk of heart disease. How Much Alcohol Is Good For You Moderate drinkers are far more likely to exercise than people who don’t drink. And they may even get more healthy effects from it. On the flip side, the more you exercise, the more likely you are to drink now and then. Scientists don’t know exactly where this link comes from. How Much Alcohol Is Good For You Regular moderate drinkers are less likely to get kidney stones – 41% less likely for those who drink beer, 33% for wine drinkers. Part of the reason may be that alcohol, like caffeine in coffee and tea, makes you pee more often. That helps clear out the tiny crystals that form stones. How Much Alcohol Is Good For You Good friends are good for you. And people who have a drink or two together – rather than, say, sodas – are likely to spend more time talking. They’re also more likely to share smiles and keep everyone involved in the conversation. But don’t overdo it – it’s called happy hour for a reason. How Much Alcohol Is Good For You Intimacy helps you deal with stress, and a little alcohol may move things along. In one study, women who had one or two glasses of red wine a day said they had more desire, arousal, and sexual satisfaction than those who didn’t. Those who drank more reported no change. How Much Alcohol Is Good For You A drink or two a few times a week may make you less likely to get Alzheimer’s disease. Moderate drinking may also reduce the risk of stroke and heart disease – both of which can speed up the effects of Alzheimer’s. How Much Alcohol Is Good For You That happy-hour cocktail or glass of wine with dinner may make you less likely to develop type 2 diabetes. Scientists aren’t sure why exactly, but it might be that a drink or two helps your body deal with high blood sugar levels in a healthy way. : Surprising Ways Alcohol May Be Good for You

    Is any amount of alcohol safe?

    No level of alcohol consumption is safe for our health The risks and harms associated with drinking alcohol have been systematically evaluated over the years and are well documented. The World Health Organization has now published a statement in The Lancet Public Health: when it comes to alcohol consumption, there is no safe amount that does not affect health.

    How many drinks per week is healthy?

    Mayo Clinic Q and A: Is daily drinking problem drinking? How Much Alcohol Is Good For You DEAR MAYO CLINIC: Is it possible to become an alcoholic just by having one or two drinks nightly? I have a glass or two of wine with dinner but never drink to the point of feeling drunk. Should I be concerned? ANSWER: Occasional beer or wine with dinner, or a drink in the evening, is not a health problem for most people.

    When drinking becomes a daily activity, though, it may represent progression of your consumption and place you at increased health risks. From your description of your drinking habits, it may be time to take a closer look at how much you drink. Drinking alcohol in moderation generally is not a cause for concern.

    According to the, drinking is considered to be in the moderate or low-risk range for women at no more than three drinks in any one day and no more than seven drinks per week. For men, it is no more than four drinks a day and no more than 14 drinks per week. How Much Alcohol Is Good For You That said, it’s easy to drink more than a standard drink in one glass. For example, many wine glasses hold far more than 5 ounces. You could easily drink 8 ounces of wine in a glass. If you have two of those glasses during a meal, you are consuming about three standard drinks.

    Although not drinking to the point of becoming drunk is a common way people gauge how much they should drink, it can be inaccurate. Researchers who study find that people with high tolerance to alcohol, who do not feel the effects of alcohol after they drink several alcoholic beverages, are actually at a higher risk for alcohol-related problems.

    It’s also important to note that, even though you may not feel the effects of alcohol, you still have the same amount of alcohol in your body as someone who starts to feel intoxicated after one or two drinks. Your lack of response to the alcohol may be related to an increase in your body’s alcohol tolerance over time.

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    Some people are born with high tolerance; many people develop a tolerance with regular drinking. Drinking more than the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism recommended limits puts you in the category of “at-risk” drinking. That means you have a higher risk for negative consequences related to your alcohol use, including health and social problems.

    You are also at higher risk of becoming addicted to alcohol. Alcohol can damage your body’s organs and lead to various health concerns. For women, this damage happens with lower doses of alcohol, because their bodies have lower water content than men. That’s why the moderate drinking guidelines for women and men are so different.

    1. The specific organ damage that happens with too much alcohol use varies considerably from one person to another.
    2. The most common health effects include heart, liver and nerve damage, as well as memory problems and sexual dysfunction.
    3. Unless you notice specific negative consequences related to your drinking, it probably is not necessary for you to quit drinking alcohol entirely.

    However, I would strongly encourage you to reduce the amount you drink, so it fits within the guidelines of moderate drinking. Doing so can protect your health in the long run. —, Psychiatry and Psychology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota : Mayo Clinic Q and A: Is daily drinking problem drinking?

    Is it OK to drink once week?

    Posted on April 9, 2018 by 10950 After a long day at work or a stressful week, a drink or two at home or out with friends might sound like just what you need to regroup. But what happens when a casual drink on a Saturday night turns into a blur – or ends up being a night you do things you wouldn’t normally do – or worse, that you regret? Sometimes known as a “weekend” alcoholic or binge drinker, this issue occurs when casual drinking turns into something more – a drinking problem, dependency issue or true alcoholism.

    1. According to the 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, there are more than 136 million alcohol users in the United States, and more than 47 percent of those users reported binge use in the last month.
    2. Experts explain moderate drinking as one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men.

    Exceeding that puts you at risk for becoming an alcoholic. Elizabeth Bulat, M.D., FASAM, an addiction treatment expert at Henry Ford Maplegrove Center, a substance abuse treatment center, discuss signs that you may be headed toward a drinking problem:

    You drink alone – or use alcohol as a coping mechanism. Now, just because you have a glass or two of wine by yourself while reading a good book, taking a bath or catching up on your favorite show doesn’t mean you have a drinking problem. The issue occurs when drinking alone becomes a habit – or when it is coupled with being used to make you feel better. “When drinking alone turns into an isolation factor, that’s when there is a problem,” says Dr. Bulat. “Using alcohol as a coping mechanism is not only unhealthy, but it can indicate there is a further underlying problem.” You do things you wouldn’t normally do while sober. While the amount of alcohol you drink is a factor in determining if you could have a drinking problem, the true issue is in how the alcohol affects you. “If you asked someone while sober if they would drive after having a few drinks, they would most likely say no,” explains Dr. Bulat. “But for someone who might have a bit of a problem, after drinking, they would justify drinking and driving.” If your drinking causes you to do things you wouldn’t normally do – or that go against your judgement – you should look at your consumption and how your drinking is affecting you. In addition, not remembering events as they happened or completely blacking out while drinking, is cause for concern. Doing something spontaneous while intoxicated is one thing, but putting the safety of yourself or others at risk or harming your relationships is completely different. You’re drinking for the buzz. Forget socialization – if you are going out and drinking simply for the feeling alcohol provides, you could be headed toward trouble. “When someone is seeking the mood altering effects or uses alcohol as a coping mechanism or in isolation, that could be a red flag for an addictive type of behavior,” says Dr. Bulat. You are not able to completely stop or limit your drinking. If you truly think your drinking is becoming a problem, try limiting yourself to only a drink or two. Or, take it one step further and stop drinking entirely – even for just a temporary amount of time. “If you have a problem with something, generally you should try just stopping to see how you feel,” says Dr. Bulat. “If the idea of stopping your drinking causes you to feel defensive, there may be a problem.”

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    Heavy drinking – even binging one or two nights a week – is harmful for your health, according to Dr. Bulat. Consequences like liver damage, blood pressure issues along with vomiting and seizures from excessive drinking can all occur if you consume too much.

    If you think that you or a loved one may have a problem with alcohol abuse or other drugs, talk to your primary care doctor, or contact an addiction specialist at Henry Ford Maplegrove Center at (800) 422-1183. Dr. Elizabeth Bulat is Service Chief of Addiction Medicine at Henry Ford’s Maplegrove Center in West Bloomfield.

    Note: Re-edited from a post originally published September 2016.

    Can 3 beers a day cause liver damage?

    Having 2 to 3 alcoholic drinks every day or binge drinking can harm your liver. Binge drinking is when you drink more than 4 or 5 drinks in a row. If you already have a liver disease, you should stop drinking alcohol. There is no safe amount of alcohol for people with any type of alcoholic liver disease.

    What happens if you drink alcohol daily?

    Long-Term Health Risks – Over time, excessive alcohol use can lead to the development of chronic diseases and other serious problems including:

    • High blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, liver disease, and digestive problems.6,16
    • of the breast, mouth, throat, esophagus, voice box, liver, colon, and rectum.6,17
    • Weakening of the immune system, increasing the chances of getting sick.6,16
    • Learning and memory problems, including dementia and poor school performance.6,18
    • Mental health problems, including depression and anxiety.6,19
    • Social problems, including family problems, job-related problems, and unemployment.6,20,21
    • Alcohol use disorders, or alcohol dependence.5

    By not drinking too much, you can reduce the risk of these short- and long-term health risks.

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  • : Alcohol Use and Your Health
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