low risk drinking

What is moderate drinking?

We often toss around the phrase ‘moderate your drinking,’ but what do we actually mean? After all, your Irish uncle might have his own definition…

By ‘moderate drinking,’ we mean the “low risk drinking” recommendation of the National Institute for Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, which is:

  • For men: 4 per day, 14 per week

  • For women: 3 per day, 7 per week (yes, fellow ladies, more proof that life simply isn’t fair)

This is considered low risk because very few (less than 2%) of those who drink at this level develop an AUD (alcohol use disorder).

Note: Different governments and research institutions have slightly different recommendations. The NIH in the UK, for example, says no more than 14 units of alcohol a week for both genders (that translates to about 6 drinks).

You’ll probably find studies suggesting (or being framed up to suggest) that moderate drinkers are healthier (in terms of heart health, or weight, or hospitalizations) than their sober counterparts. However, it’s important to know that many of those studies don’t correct for overall differences in income (and therefore lifestyle - exercise, healthy eating, etc.). Often, people who don’t drink are slightly less well off than those that do (perhaps some don’t drink at all because they can’t afford to?). The only conclusive evidence is that drinking heavily does serious damage to your health in the short and long term.

So quit or cut back today with us!