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 wellbeing. Here are some ways to reduce the risks.

What is recommended?

For healthy men and women
No more than two standard drinks a 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 (average restaurant serve) (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, like soda water.
  • 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?

For healthy people, drink four standard drinks at most on a single special occasion. This reduces the risk of alcohol related injury.

Is alcohol good for me?

  • Don't take up drinking just to get health benefits. You can get more health benefits from exercise and eating well.
  • Some studies show that drinking a little bit of alcohol (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 how much is a good choice for you.

This general advice was accurate at the time of publication (April 2015). For more information about alcohol and your individual needs see your GP or an accredited practising dietitian.