Alcohol: How Much is Too Much?

April is Alcohol Awareness Month so knowing how much you’re drinking is key to good health. We’ve got guidelines so you can make informed decisions.

MHP Blog Alcohol Awareness Month

April is Alcohol Awareness Month, which brings awareness about the dangers of excessive alcohol consumption and promote healthy drinking habits. 

The program began in April 1987 and has since become a national movement to draw attention to the causes and effects of alcoholism as well as how to help families and communities deal with drinking problems.

Here's what you need to know about how much alcohol is too much.

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), moderate drinking is defined as up to one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men. A "drink" is typically defined as:

  • 12 ounces of beer (5% alcohol content)

  • 5 ounces of wine (12% alcohol content)

  • 1.5 ounces of distilled spirits (40% alcohol content)

Exceeding these guidelines can increase the risk of a number of negative health outcomes, including:

  • Liver disease

  • High blood pressure

  • Stroke

  • Certain types of cancer

  • Mental health problems, such as depression and anxiety

  • Alcohol use disorder

It's important to note that these guidelines are just that…guidelines. The amount of alcohol that is "too much" can vary depending on a number of factors, including age, weight and overall health. Additionally, some people may be more sensitive to the effects of alcohol than others.

If you choose to drink alcohol, it's important to do so in moderation and to be aware of the risks. Here are some tips for promoting healthy drinking habits:

  1. Know your limits: Be aware of how much alcohol you can safely consume and stick to those limits.  
  2. Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water throughout the day and alternate alcoholic beverages with non-alcoholic ones.  
  3. Eat food: Consuming food while drinking can help slow down the absorption of alcohol and reduce the risk of negative health outcomes.
  4. Avoid binge drinking: Binge drinking or consuming a large amount of alcohol in a short period of time can be particularly harmful to your health.
  5. Seek help if you need it: If you're concerned about your drinking habits, don't hesitate to seek help. There are a variety of resources available, including support groups, counseling, and treatment programs. Talk to your doctor. 

By being aware of the risks of excessive alcohol consumption and taking steps to limit your intake, you can help protect your health and well-being!

Want more? Read 5 Lifestyle Changes to Help Brain Health in Retirement

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