Rules on Alcohol

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I often hear people ask, “How much alcohol should I drink?” To answer that, I refer you to the US guidelines for alcohol which encourages moderation. So, what does moderation look like? These are maximum guidelines, not minimum hahaha.

Men: 2 drinks/day
Women: 1 drink/day

reference: 1 drink = 12 oz beer (OR) 1.5 oz liquor (OR) 5 oz of wine

The usual follow-up question is “Isn’t wine healthy? There are anti-oxidants, right?” Sure, in wine. Personally, I think that’s grasping at straws. People drink alcohol for many reasons and I can assure you that drinking for antioxidants is probably not even on that short list. Mostly, we drink to relax and unwind after a long day or work week. Or we drink to celebrate a Tuesday. Or we drink socially to connect with friends and coworkers. Ain’t nothing wrong with that. Whatever the reason, I am not here to judge.

Still, I would recommend following the guidelines for moderation for those who want to reduce their high alcohol consumption while still being able to enjoy an adult beverage regularly. My one personal advice when drinking alcohol is to follow each beverage with a tall glass of water. This is because alcohol has a strong dehydration effect on the body. By alternating between water and alcohol, you’ll ensure that you don’t have to chug a giant bottle of water before bed (or regret that you didn’t when you wake up the next morning).

Oh…and I know that you’re thinking. The answer is…no, you cannot “save” your drinks for the weekend and have 10 in one sitting. It’s not the same as moderating. Each day, if you don’t use it, you lose it.


Thomas Ngo, RD, CPT
Registered Dietitian
NASM Certified Personal Trainer
Facebook–The More You Ngo


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