Drinking alcohol has become a staple of regular life. It is considered normal to go out for a happy hour after work, enjoy a glass of wine with dinner, or drink a beer on the couch during a football game. But is this regular drinking pattern safe? Keep reading to find out if it’s safe to drink daily and how much alcohol you can consume per day without it becoming a problem.
Is It Okay to Drink Every Day?
Studies show that drinking alcohol regularly, or even daily, can be safe in some cases. In fact, some believe that drinking a small amount every day can even be good for you and improve your heart health. However, drinking on a regular basis can quickly cause negative effects.
So while it is considered “safe” to drink every day, it is important to monitor how much you consume and to not exceed your daily or weekly limit. Limits will vary based on a variety of factors. If you pass your individual limit regularly, it will eventually begin to show. Drinking excessively has a great impact on your physical and mental health.
How Much Can You Drink Daily?
How much you can drink per day depends on genetic and biological factors like age, weight, sex, and more. An individual’s limit can also change throughout their life. For example, getting older will decrease a person’s limit and lower the number of drinks they can have per day.
With all factors considered, it is generally safe for men to consume 2-3 standard alcoholic drinks per day and for women to consume 1-2 standard alcoholic drinks per day. But at the same time, men should not drink more than 14 standard drinks per week and women should not exceed 7.
When it comes to beer, a “standard” drink is twelve ounces of a 5% brew. In regard to wine, a standard drink is 5 ounces if the alcohol content of the bottle is at 12%. Certain alcoholic beverages, like cocktails and mixed drinks, may count as more than one standard drink.
If you want to remain at low risk for becoming dependent on alcohol, it is important to adhere to both weekly and daily consumption limits. While the general limits listed above can be helpful, they do not apply to every individual. If you’re wondering how much is safe for you to consume, talk to your doctor. Only you and your doctor can truly understand what your personal limit is.
Side Effects & Risks of Heavy Drinking
The most obvious side effect of drinking every day is becoming dependent and developing an alcohol use disorder. However, there are many other complications that may come from drinking alcohol daily. Some side effects and risks of heavy drinking include:
- Mouth, breast, or throat cancer
- Mood and behavior changes
- Violent behavior
- High blood pressure
- Heart muscle damage
- Accidental injury
- Scarring of the liver
- Fatty liver disease
It is also very possible for someone who drinks too much to get alcohol poisoning. Symptoms of alcohol poisoning include blacking out, vomiting, extreme drowsiness, and being incoherent. If someone drinks alcohol regularly and suddenly stops, it is likely that they will experience symptoms of alcohol withdrawal like headaches, nausea, fatigue, mental cloudiness, and more.
How To Drink Responsibly
When it comes down to it, the threshold for heavy drinking is much lower than you might think. And just because you can drink every day, it doesn’t mean you should. The best way to avoid negative side effects and to prevent developing a dependence is to drink in moderation. Try your best to stay within your limit and to not drink more than a couple drinks per night. Ultimately, cutting down your alcohol consumption can contribute to living a longer life.
You should not consume alcohol at all if you take certain medications, you’re pregnant, you have certain medical conditions, or you plan to drive/operate heavy machinery.
If you think your relationship with alcohol is beginning to negatively affect your life, it may be time to seek help for an alcohol abuse disorder. Rehabilitation can not only help you cut back on and quit drinking, but it can also help you develop the tools you need to stay sober for good.
To learn more about safe alcohol consumption and treatment options for substance abuse disorders like alcoholism, contact our team of rehabilitation specialists at 1st Step Behavioral Health by calling 866-971-5531.