MODERATE DRINKING: HOW MUCH ALCOHOL IS IN YOUR DRINK?

moderate drinking, drinking guidelines, gateway treatment centersEven conscientious drinkers who limit themselves to one or two alcoholic beverages could easily find themselves beyond the legal limit for driving in addition to unknowingly putting their health at risk warns The National Alcohol Beverage Control Association.

Drinks served in bars and restaurants often contain more alcohol than people realize. When you consider the alcohol volume, the size of the pour and the size of glass your drink arrives in, there can be a lot of variance,” explains Gateway Foundation Clinical Director Dr . Phil Welches.

The USDA’s Dietary Guidelines define moderate drinking as one drink a day for women and up to two drinks a day for men.

So what can you do if you’re trying to moderate the amount of alcohol you drink? In some situations, careful label reading and measuring will help ensure you don’t overdo it.

  • At home, measure the pour a couple of times in the same size glass so you know what a standard drink looks like.
  • At bars and restaurants, assume that poured drinks are more like one-and-a- half standard drinks and maybe even more for mixed cocktails, such as martinis and Long Island iced teas.
  • If the alcohol volume is higher than a standard “drink,” drink less.

Then it’s simply a matter of sticking to the limit you set for yourself. Once you reach your max, drink water to make sure you stay in control and help protect yourself from dehydration and a hangover.

To understand the warning signs of alcohol abuse, what it means to be a functioning alcoholic, how to help someone who may be struggling with alcohol dependence and more, visit RecoverGateway.org/alcohol-abuse

Alcohol Dependency & Women

Drinking Alcohol Poses More Health Risks for Women

A considerable downside of frequent alcohol consumption is a higher rate of health risks —especially for women. Women’s bodies are more sensitive to the effects of alcohol than men’s bodies. As a result, women who drink are more prone to particular health risks, including breast cancer, heart disease and liver damage.

Women and Men should know the USDA guidelines and consume moderate amounts of alcohol. A standard drink is roughly 14 grams of pure alcohol, which is found in:

  • 12 ounces of beer
  • 5 ounces of wine
  • 1.5 ounces of distilled spirits

The USDA defines moderate drinking as:

  • Up to 1 drink per day for women
  • Up to 2 drinks per day for men

It’s important to note that alcohol effects each person differently based on factors that can include weight, general health and family health history. Even within the USDA moderate drinking definition, abuse can occur if alcohol is consumed too quickly or if other underlying issues exist.

Women Report their “Usual number of drinks per drinking occasion”

  • 1 Drink – 48.2% of women
  • 2 Drinks – 29.9 % of women
  • 3+ Drinks – 21.9% of women

Consumption reports from women past-year drinkers ages 18+. According to the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions.

Learn more about Alcohol Abuse and Women.

Why do women face higher risk of Alcohol Dependency?

Research shows that women start to have alcohol-related problems at lower drinking levels than men. One explanation is on average, women weigh less than men. In addition, alcohol disperses in body water, and pound for pound, women have less water in their bodies than men. So after a man and woman of the same weight drink the same amount of alcohol, the woman’s blood alcohol concentration will tend to be higher. Other biological differences, including hormones, may contribute, as well.

What are the health risks?

Breast Cancer
There is an association between drinking alcohol and developing breast cancer. Women who consume about one drink per day have a 10% higher chance of developing breast cancer than women who do not drink at all.

Liver Damage
Women who drink are more likely to develop alcoholic hepatitis (liver inflammation) than men who drink the same amount of alcohol. Alcoholic hepatitis can lead to cirrhosis.

Heart Disease
Chronic heavy drinking is a leading cause of heart disease. Among heavy drinkers, women are more susceptible to alcohol-related heart disease than men, even though women drink less alcohol over a lifetime than men.

Pregnancy
Any drinking during pregnancy is risky. A pregnant woman who drinks heavily puts her fetus at risk for learning and behavioral problems and abnormal facial features. Even moderate drinking during pregnancy can cause problems. Drinking during pregnancy also may increase the risk for preterm labor.

Some women should never drink at all, including:

  • Anyone under age 21
  • Anyone who takes medications that can interact negatively with alcohol
  • Anyone who is pregnant or trying to conceive

Need help for Alcohol Dependency?

If you or someone you know needs help with alcohol dependencyGateway Foundation Alcohol & Drug Treatment can help. With treatment programs tailored to meet the specific needs of adult men and women and teens, Gateway’s team of experienced professionals has been helping individuals overcome substance abuse for more than 40 years.

For more information or to arrange a free and confidential consultation, please call 877-505-HOPE (4673).

What is Moderate Drinking?

The USDA defines moderate drinking as:

  • Up to two drinks per day for men
  • Up to one drink per day for women.

It’s important to note that alcohol effects each person differently based on factors that can include weight, general health and family health history. Even within the USDA moderate drinking definition, abuse can occur if alcohol is consumed too quickly or if other underlying issues exist. Men and women should know the USDA guidelines and consume moderate amounts of alcohol. A standard drink is roughly 14 grams of pure alcohol, which is found in:standard drink

  • 12 ounces of beer
  • 5 ounces of wine
  • 1.5 ounces of distilled spirits

Quick Facts about Alcohol:

  • One drink can make you fail a breath test. In some states, people under age 21 can lose their driver’s license, be subject to a heavy fine or have their car permanently taken away.
  • Alcohol is a drug. Mixing it with any other drug can be extremely dangerous. Alcohol and acetaminophen—a common ingredient in OTC pain and fever reducers—can damage your liver. Alcohol mixed with other drugs can cause nausea, vomiting, fainting, heart problems and difficulty breathing. Mixing alcohol and drugs also can lead to coma and death.
  • Alcohol is a depressant, or downer, because it reduces brain activity. If you are depressed before you start drinking, alcohol can make you feel worse.
  • Beer and wine are not “safer” than liquor. One 12-ounce bottle of beer or a 5-ounce glass of wine (about a half-cup) has as much alcohol as a 1.5-ounce shot of liquor. Alcohol can make you drunk and cause you problems no matter how you consume it.
%d bloggers like this: