“No amount of alcohol use is healthy,” Dr. Brown says; however, an accepted safe limit for alcohol intake is one drink daily for women, and two drinks for men, according to the most recent Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
Standard drink sizes include:
- Beer: 12 ounces
- Malt liquor: 8 ounces
- Wine: 5 ounces
- Spirits: 1.5 ounces
“When drinking wine, if you and a partner are splitting a bottle, one of you is drinking too much, since there’s five glasses in there,” Dr. Brown says. “In general, if you stay below the safe limits you can enjoy having a drink with your friends or your family without terrible worry. But one can recognize how easy it is to exceed those guidelines.”
Forms of excessive alcohol use include binge drinking and heavy drinking.
For women, binge drinking means consuming four or more drinks in a single occasion, and for men, five or more drinks, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Heavy drinking is defined as eight or more drinks a week for women, and 15 or more for men.