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How much alcohol should I drink a day?

Neal Spruce
Neal Spruce on behalf of dotFIT
Fitness Specialist

There is no “should” drink recommendations for alcohol, but health benefits have been associated with moderate alcohol consumption (2 drinks/day for men; 1 for women). The benefits of moderate alcohol consumption include reduced risk of heart attack and stroke; increased HDL (good cholesterol) and reduced blood clotting, which is probably the reason for a reduction on heart attacks and strokes. Additionally, just recently moderate alcohol consumption was connected to a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes, gallstones and cognitive decline. The downside is that moderate drinking can lead to excessive drinking that is not just extremely detrimental to YOUR health but also to the health of people around you. So keep it moderate or don’t drink.

One drink contains 14 grams of alcohol, meaning one 12 oz beer (5% alcohol), one 5 oz glass of wine (12%), and one 1.5 oz of hard liquor (40% or 80 proof) are each one drink. It does appear that alcohol itself, and not the source, is responsible for the benefits.

Manuel Villacorta
Nutrition & Dietetics Specialist

The amount of alcohol a person can drink safely depends on the type of alcohol they consume. Generally, a serving size is considered to be: four ounces of wine, ten ounces of a wine cooler, twelve ounces of beer, or one and a half ounces of distilled liquor. If you are not trying to lose weight, the National Institute of Health recommends that women drink no more than one serving size per day and men no more than two (this is recommended only if you are not pregnant, lactating, have alcohol dependencies, diseases, or are taking medications that interact negatively with alcohol).

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.