Drink Alcohol Only in Moderation


If you don’t drink alcohol, there’s no reason to start. If you choose to drink, it’s important to have only a moderate (limited) amount. And some people should not drink at all, like women who are pregnant or might be pregnant — and people with certain health conditions.

What is a moderate amount of alcohol?

A moderate amount of alcohol means:

  • 1 drink or less in a day for women
  • 2 drinks or less in a day for men

Keep in mind that drinking less is always healthier than drinking more. Even moderate drinking can have health risks.

What is 1 drink equal to?

Different types of beer, wine, and liquor have different amounts of alcohol. In general, 1 drink is equal to a:

  • Bottle of regular beer (12 ounces)
  • Glass of wine (5 ounces)
  • Shot of liquor or spirits, like gin, rum, or vodka (1.5 ounces)

Learn more about the amount of alcohol in different drinks.

Different drinks have different amounts of calories, too. These calories add up — and getting more calories than you need can make it harder to stay at a healthy weight. For example, a 12-ounce bottle of beer has about 150 calories. Find out how many calories are in a drink.

Health Risks

Drinking more than a moderate amount of alcohol can put you at risk for personal and health problems, including alcohol use disorder. 

What are the risks of drinking too much?

Drinking too much increases your risk for many health problems, including serious conditions that can lead to death. Some examples of alcohol-related health problems include:

  • Liver disease
  • Heart disease
  • Depression
  • Stroke
  • Stomach bleeding
  • Some types of cancer

Even moderate drinking may raise your risk for some types of heart disease and cancer. For some types of cancer, the risk increases even at low levels of drinking (for example, less than 1 drink in a day). 

Drinking too much can also put you at risk for:

  • Alcohol use disorder
  • Injuries and violence
  • Unintended pregnancy or STDs (sexually transmitted diseases)

Learn more about the risks of drinking too much

What is alcohol use disorder?

If drinking causes serious problems in your life, you may have alcohol use disorder. Alcoholism is a type of alcohol use disorder.

Drinking may be a problem for you if any of these things are true:

  • You can’t control how much you drink
  • You need to drink more and more to feel the effects
  • You feel anxious, irritable, or stressed when you aren’t drinking
  • You find yourself thinking a lot about when you can drink next 

Use this tool to see if you have signs of alcohol use disorder. If you have a drinking problem, it’s important to see a doctor right away.

Post time: Oct-10-2022