Appetite for Life


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There is no amount of alcohol that is safe for everyone. If you choose to drink alcohol, there may be some risks to your health and well being. Here are some ways to reduce the risks.

What is recommended?

For healthy men and women

No more than two standard drinks a day

A picture of two glasses of red wine. This is an example of a maximum of two standard drinks per day.

How many standard drinks are you having?

285ml glass of full strength beer (4.8%)

375ml bottle of full strength beer (4.8%)

150 ml glass of wine  (11.5%)

330mL of full strength (5%) ready to drink spirits

30 ml spirits

1.1 standard

1.4 standard

1.4 standard

1.2 standard

1.0 standard


How do I reduce my alcohol intake?

  • Make every second drink non-alcoholic.
  • Sip on water regularly.
  • Choose low alcohol beer.
  • Mix wine with soda or mineral water.
  • Add soft drink, soda or mineral water and ice to spirits.
  • Serve drinks in a smaller glass.
  • Drink slowly.

How much can I drink on a special occasion?

There are only recommendations on how much healthy people can drink safely. If you have a medical condition, talk to your doctor about how much and how often you can drink. Healthy people can drink four standard drinks at most on a single special occasion.  This reduces the chances of hurting yourself while drinking alcohol.

Is alcohol good for me?

  • Some research shows that drinking a little bit of alcohol, in particular red wine (around half a standard drink a day) can reduce your risk of heart disease.
  • Other studies show drinking alcohol can increase your chance of getting some cancers and other diseases.
  • Talk to your doctor about the pros and cons of drinking alcohol and what amount is right for you.

This general advice was accurate at the time of publication (June 2020). For more information about nutrition and your individual needs, see your GP or an Accredited Practising Dietitian.