How much alcohol should I drink daily to help my heart?

The Mayo Clinic reports that having one or two drinks per day could lower your risk of heart disease, but researchers caution you should be careful not to drink too much.

Men can have two drinks a day, but women should have just one 12-ounce beer, or a five-ounce glass of wine, or 1.5 ounces of 80 proof alcohol, according to the Mayo Clinic.

To do your body an even bigger favor, stick with red wine. It helps your heart and raises the level of good cholesterol, while lowering the level of your bad cholesterol.

If you do not drink, now, however, you are not advised to start now. Alcohol has been linked to cancer and is full of empty calories.
Anthony L. Komaroff, MD
Internal Medicine
Dozens of studies have suggested that moderate consumption of alcohol reduces the risk for heart disease. Moderate alcohol consumption is defined as no more than one drink a day for women and two for men. A drink is defined as 1.5 ounces of hard liquor, 5 ounces of wine, or a 12-ounce beer.

Although a few studies have found that wine is more beneficial than beer or hard liquor, most have found that any type of alcohol in moderation may help. It is not entirely clear why moderate alcohol consumption helps the heart, but it may raise helpful high-density lipoprotein (HDL) levels, quell inflammation, and decrease the risk for blood clots. The key is moderation, however. Drinking more than two drinks of alcohol per day on a regular basis increases the risk of developing hypertension, while having more than three per day raises the risk for stroke, arrhythmia, and sudden death. Another factor to consider is that alcohol is addictive. So if you don't drink, don't start just to help your heart; eating healthier food and exercising are better lifestyle strategies.

Continue Learning about Alcohol & Health

Alcoholics Anonymous Is the Best Way to Quit Drinking, Study Finds
Alcoholics Anonymous Is the Best Way to Quit Drinking, Study Finds
Alcoholics Anonymous is the most effective path to achieving sobriety, according to a March 2020 review of studies published in the Cochrane Database ...
Read More
Which foods have similar health benefits to wine?
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MDDr. Mehmet Oz, MD
If you cannot consume wine, you can get these same benefits from a grapeseed oil scrub made from the...
More Answers
How much alcohol is it healthy for a woman to drink?
Mosaraf Ali, MDMosaraf Ali, MD
Recommendations for maximum alcohol intake for a woman vary between 14 and 21 units a week. People o...
More Answers
Are You a Binge Drinker and Don't Know It?
Are You a Binge Drinker and Don't Know It?

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.