Drinking Recommendations

Authors of a review of research on alcohol and cardiovascular risk recommend that:

  1. Nondrinkers should be informed that, unless contraindicated, low to moderate alcohol consumption of alcoholic beverages may contribute to better health.
  2. Regular light and moderate drinkers should be encouraged to continue their drinking.
  3. Heavy drinkers should be strongly encouraged to reduce their consumption of alcohol to low-to-moderate levels.

Drinking in moderation has been described by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) as a man consuming four drinks on any day with an average of 14 drinks per week. For women, it is consuming three drinks in any one day and an average of seven drinks per week.

A standard alcoholic drink is:

  • A 12-ounce can or bottle of regular beer
  • A 5-ounce glass of dinner wine
  • A shot (one and one-half ounces) of 80 proof liquor or spirits such as vodka, tequila, or rum either straight or in a mixed drink.

Standard drinks contain equivalent amounts of alcohol. To a breathalyzer, they're all the same.

There is no evidence that any particular form of alcoholic beverage (beer, wine, or distilled spirits) confers greater health benefits than any other.

Note: This website is informational only and does not provide any health advice or suggestions and none should be inferred.


  • Di Castelnuovo A., et al. Alcohol consumption and cardiovascular risk: mechanisms of action and epidemiological perspectives. Future Cardiology, 2009, 5(5), 467-477.