What is Moderate Drinking or Alcohol Consumption?

What is moderate drinking? It depends on whom you ask. The U.S. government defines moderte drinking as consuming no more than two standard drinks a day for men and one for women. And even that has changed. Until recently, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism’s definition permitted men to drink up to four standard drinks on a day and still be considered moderate drinkers.

What is moderate drinking
Standard drinks

Each standard drink in the U.S. contains the same amount of alcohol. It’s six-tenths of an ounce. Learn more about standard drinks and why they’’re important.

Moderate drinkers tend to have better health and live longer than those who are either abstainers or heavy drinkers. In fact, the risk of dying in any given year is about 25% lower for those who consume moderate amounts of alcohol.

Moderate drinkers of beer, wine, or spirits are less likely to suffer these conditions:

Resources: What is Moderate Drinking?

Web Pages


American Heart Assn. American Heart Association Your Heart… Complete Guide to Heart Health. NY: Pocket Books, 2011.

Ascheim, R., et al. Heart Health. Your Questions Answered. London: DK, 2009.

Chambers, R. Boost Your Heart Health. NY: Perigee, 2007.

Crocker, B. Betty Crocker Cookbook. Heart Health Edition. Hoboken: Wiley, 2008.

Gillinov, M. and Nissen, S. Heart 411. The only Guide to Heart Health You’ll Ever Need. NY: Crown, 2012.

Jackson, G. Heart Health. London: Class, 2009.


This web site does not provide medical opinion or advice. Obtain all medical advice from an M.D.