What Is Moderate Drinking?

Determining whether you should drink should be based on several factors, including your own health and lifestyle, your history with alcohol, and your body’s own limitations. Too much alcohol consumption can lead to a variety of health problems, and the risks to your health and safety increase along with the amount you drink. When you’re looking to drink in moderation, it’s a good idea to designate a few days as no-drinking days. Take some time to decide which days are OK to have a drink and which days are off-limits. MM asks participants to take a realistic look at their drinking patterns and reasons for drinking. A team of researchers from University of Oxford looked at data from 424 men and 103 women who are participating in the 10,000-person Whitehall Study, an ongoing investigation of the relationship of lifestyle and health among British civil servants.

With long-term drinking even on moderate terms, the brain physiology is affected by creating long-term alcohol dependence. Problem drinkers, on the other hand, have their brains and bodies craving for alcohol and just a sip of alcoholic beverage after abstinence is enough to send them into another cycle of alcohol abuse and health problems. Therefore, even putting them on a moderate drinking program may not help much. There are books on alcoholism with general guidelines that can help people looking for ways on how to moderate drinking. However, these guidelines are not a reliable guarantee of safety for everyone at every time.

Medical Professionals

Of course, this is easier to do at home—but you can try communicating your needs to the bartender or waiter. Oftentimes, drinking alcohol can be a coping mechanism for negative feelings, and create a false sense of calmness, relief, and even joy. Finding alternative ways to achieve those feelings is a crucial part of changing your relationship with alcohol. A quick “no, thank you” can be an effective way to set a boundary between yourself and those who may urge you to drink. In other situations, constant peer pressure to drink can be a cue to exit a situation early, and a sign that you should reevaluate who you’re hanging out with, or where you’re getting together.

A similar mindset shift is necessary when on vacation or around the holidays when it’s easy to relinquish controlled drinking and consume more than one or two drinks. However, those health benefits can quickly turn into health risks. Studies from the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) have found that drinking frequency is a risk factor, even with moderate drinking. The CDC, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s dietary guidelines all agree that minimal drinking is better than even a moderate alcohol intake. In fact, none of these government agencies advise you to drink at all.

What does it mean to be above the legal limit for drinking?

People who do not drink should not start drinking alcohol for the sole purpose of its potential health benefits. Talk with your health care provider to understand your specific risks and benefits regarding alcohol use. Secondly, despite the ongoing message to drink in moderation (and again, that’s up to one drink a day for women and up to two for men), binge drinking the U.S. is fairly prevalent. Up to a quarter of all adults https://ecosoberhouse.com/article/warning-signs-of-drug-use-and-addiction/ 21 years and older report binge drinking in the past month, per the Scientific Report of the 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. And binge drinking doesn’t have any health perks, plus it’s quite risky. While many of the facts conveyed in this post may sound as though they are meant to dissuade individuals from drinking, the goal is not to pass judgment on behavior or to make the argument in favor of abstinence.

By checking in on your relationship with alcohol, you can transform the role it plays in your life. The path isn’t always a linear one, but it’s definitely rewarding. Changing your relationship with alcohol is an act of self-care, and you should be proud to embark on that journey, or continue along your path. Join the Monument Community, and get encouragement and advice throughout your moderation journey.

The Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (ODPHP) cannot attest to the accuracy of a non-federal website.

Find a health center near you and ask about alcohol misuse screening and counseling. Keep this list in your wallet, on your fridge, or in an app on your phone. Stay away from bars and other places that may make you want to drink. Coma and death can occur if alcohol is consumed rapidly and in large amounts. Lisa Valente is a registered dietitian and nutrition editor.

moderate drinking

Whatever the case, we’re here to support you in a way that makes you feel empowered and confident. During the times when you’re alcohol-free, does it change how you feel and where you place value in your life? Do you find you’re moderate drinking able to think more clearly, focus better, and maintain your energy? Build upon these positive changes as you continue to cut down on drinking alcohol, and don’t feel discouraged if you face challenges along the way.

Dietary Guidelines for Alcohol

And according to the WHO, half of cancers in Europe linked to alcohol are caused by “light” or “moderate” consumption. Next, they studied a subset of 754 individuals who had undergone previous PET/CT brain imaging (primarily for cancer surveillance) to determine the effect of light/moderate alcohol consumption on resting stress-related neural network activity. “If drinking, we recommend no more than two drinks per day for men and one drink per day for women,” she added. This is all keeping in mind that moderate alcohol consumption and moderation management programs aren’t appropriate for those groups we already listed above.

moderate drinking