7 Tips to Help You Drink in Moderation

For people concerned that their drinking may be moving towards dependence, a screening tool called the Drinker’s Checkup can evaluate and give feedback. If you have a bad day or are feeling angry, don’t reach for a drink. Try taking a walk, calling a friend, or seeing a movie.Get tips to help you manage stress. Learn more about the amount of alcohol in different drinks. During pregnancy, it increases the risk of pregnancy loss and of a child having growth and developmental problems in future. Another study found that one component in red wine may protect the brain from stroke damage.

Is it OK to drink everyday?

To reduce the risk of alcohol-related harms, the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that adults of legal drinking age can choose not to drink, or to drink in moderation by limiting intake to 2 drinks or less in a day for men or 1 drink or less in a day for women, on days when alcohol is consumed.

But the number of drinks people consumed on days they chose to drink did impact their weight. This study documented significant increases in body mass index for both men and women who consumed four or more drinks on days they consumed alcohol, as compared with just one drink on those days. Similarly, a meta-analysis of data from 34 studies with more than one million participants also found a survival benefit to can you moderate your drinking moderate drinking. In this analysis, men who consumed up to four drinks a day were up to 17 percent less likely to die prematurely, while women who consumed up to two drinks daily had an 18 percent lower risk of premature death. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans seem to echo this sentiment that moderate drinking is safe. They recommend no more than two drinks a day for men or one daily drink for women.

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Conversely, both the relatively new “ ice” beers and “dry” beers have higher alcohol contents than do either regular or “ light” beers (Williams et al. 1997). Other beverages with higher alcohol content than the corresponding “regular” beverages, such as premium brand liquors, fortified wines, malt liquors, and locally produced beers and ales (i.e., microbrews), also have become more popular.

  • Ten years ago, Donna Dierker, who lives in St. Louis, was concerned about her drinking.
  • There you can take a good look at your drinking and get objective feedback.
  • Decide ahead of time how much and how often you would like to drink.
  • Another major caveat to most research into the health effects of alcohol is that the vast majority of these studies aren’t controlled experiments designed to prove whether alcohol directly causes specific positive or negative medical outcomes.

Moderate drinking isn’t something that occurs overnight, but can be rewarding as you begin to change your relationship with alcohol. Rather than turning to alcohol as a way to cope or socialize, changing your drinking behavior can open up new opportunities to promote self-care and well-being without the need to drink. High protein foods and non-alcoholic beverages can help to decrease the absorption of alcohol into your bloodstream and brain. Eat something before taking your first drink and then intersperse non-alcoholic beverages like water in between drinks. Let a supportive friend and/or family member know that you’re trying to cut down. By explaining how important it is to you that you moderate your drinking, they may be able to offer their help.

Normal Drinkers vs. Alcoholics

“For the general population, I do not believe there is sufficient evidence that the overall risks outweigh the benefits to support recommending against drinking about a drink a day among those that prefer to do so,” Marcus says. At this point, doctors broadly agree that there’s no good medical reason for people who don’t drink to start drinking. “There are many reasons to drink, but the idea that it will improve your health is on far too shaky scientific ground,” Stockwell says. Dry county residents were 7 percent more likely to be hospitalized for atrial fibrillation but 11 percent less likely to be hospitalized for heart attacks compared to people in wet counties. There is no consensus that moderate drinking leads to a healthier heart. Medical News Today has strict sourcing guidelines and draws only from peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical journals and associations.

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