There are many phrases floating around out there to describe how frequently people drink and at what volume. These terms include but aren’t limited to: social drinking, occasional drinking, moderate drinking, heavy drinking, excessive drinking, weekend drinker, and more. With all of these terms, it can be easy to mix them up and mistake one type of drinking for the other.
Most individuals consume alcohol in moderation and can enjoy a few drinks during a night out with friends. These people are known as “moderate drinkers.” Continue reading for essential information about what moderate drinking is, how to know if you’re a moderate drinker, whether or not moderate drinking is considered safe, how to monitor your drinking, and more.
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The Definition of Moderate Drinking
A moderate drinker is someone who only drinks to the point of drunkenness on special occasions. Women who are moderate drinkers consume less than one standard drink per day on average, while men who drink moderately consume less than two standard drinks per day.
Some alcohol drinks, however, might contain more than what is considered a “standard drink.” A standard drink is 12 ounces of 5% beer or 5 ounces of 12% wine; so if someone says they have “one drink” but consumes more than 12 ounces of beer or a beer that has higher than a 5% alcohol content, then they are technically not having just one drink. These percentages are important to keep in mind when trying to maintain a moderate drinking level.
Once someone passes the daily limits listed above regularly, they are then considered an “excessive” or “heavy” drinker. Now, it’s obvious that it is bad for your health to be a heavy drinker – but is it safe to be a moderate one?
Is It Safe to Be A Moderate Drinker?
It is safe to be a moderate drinker in most cases. In fact, some studies show that drinking wine moderately could bring some physical health benefits. However, there is still speculation as to whether or not that is true. Even moderate drinking has the potential to impact brain health and hurt the body. So while it isn’t necessarily unsafe to drink moderately, it’s always a better idea for your health to drink less than to drink more.
Moderate Drinking Risks & Warnings
Even though moderate drinking is safe in most cases, it does come with its side effects. When someone is under the influence of alcohol, they begin to feel the effect relatively quickly. It is important to note that, in most cases, women feel the effects of drinking more than men do. This is because women usually weigh less than men and have less water in their bodies.
Common side effects of moderate drinking include:
- A sense of euphoria
- Mood changes
- Impulsive behavior
- Lowered inhibitions
- Slurred speech
- Trouble concentrating
- Nausea and vomiting
- Loss of coordination
These side effects will typically only occur if a moderate drinker consumes more than their daily limit. They can usually be managed at home and are typically not dangerous as long as they are treated properly.
Over time, moderate drinking can become riskier and may lead to a variety of conditions or health issues. These issues include but aren’t limited to: depression and other mental health problems, alcohol dependence and abuse, appetite and weight changes, memory problems, dementia, anemia, fatty liver, high blood pressure, nerve damage, seizures, insomnia, stroke, and different types of cancer.
To prevent these serious risks, the key is controlling and monitoring your alcohol intake to make sure you do not exceed the level of being a moderate drinker.
Managing Your Alcohol Intake
The best way to manage your alcohol intake is to follow your daily or weekly drinking limit. Keep track of how many standard drinks you have per week and make sure you know how much alcohol is in every drink you consume.
If you’re worried about how much alcohol you consume and think you may be more than a moderate drinker, it might be time to talk to your doctor about receiving help. To learn more about the different types of alcohol abuse treatment we offer or to get advice regarding alcohol consumption, contact our team of experienced substance abuse and mental health treatment specialists. Give us a call at (866) 971-5531 or contact us today.