If you drink frequently — or a lot at one time — your health may be at risk.
How much is too much?
For men age 65 and younger, heavy drinking is more than 14 drinks a week. For women of all ages and men over age 65, it’s more than seven drinks a week. And many people are surprised to learn what counts as one drink.
Even though drinks come in different sizes, you can see what is considered one standard drink:
- Beer – 12 fluid oz. at 5% ABV (alcohol by volume)
- Malt Liquor 8 – 9 fluid oz. at 7% ABV
- Wine – 5 fluid oz. at 12% ABV
- Liquor – 1.5 fluid oz. at 40% ABV
What does drinking really hurt?
Excessive drinking is associated with many health problems. In the short term, it can affect your mood and increase your risk for a weakened immune system. In the long run, it can increase your risk for heart problems, liver issues and developing certain cancers — especially in the mouth, neck and throat.
How can I cut back?
Try these tips to help you cut back.
- Keep track. Awareness is the first step in understanding how much you’re really drinking.
- Set a goal. Set a limit on how many drinks you’ll have and what days you’ll drink. Then, stick to it.
- Pace and space. When you do drink, sip your drink slowly and drink a glass of water after each alcoholic drink.
Should I quit?
If you find you can’t cut back or have a family history of alcohol problems, quitting may be your best option.
The bottom line is if you don’t drink, there’s no reason to start. If you do drink, keep it in moderation or quit to reduce your risk of long-term health problems.
Life. Inspired. content is for informational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice or a substitute for the professional opinion of a doctor, pharmacist or other health care professional involved in your treatment. We encourage you to consult with your doctor, pharmacist or other health care professional before volunteering to participate in a wellness activity and for diagnosis and treatment decisions. Restrictions may apply to the benefits offered under the Life. Inspired. program.