How Much Alcohol is Harmful
(Please note this is not meant to constitute medical advice but is a guide to help you with drinking. For specific advice about safe levels of consumption, please consult your licensed medical practitioner).
It’s difficult for a normal individual to determine how much they drink and if this is harmful or not to their body. As you drink you begin to feel accustomed to the feelings of being drunk and you may drink more without even realizing it. As you drink it may take more alcohol over time to get you drunk so you consume more to get that buzz again.
What Experts Say
- For women no more than two drinks of alcohol per day
- For men no more than three drinks of alcohol per day
During the week you should have two days where you don’t consume any alcohol at all. If you’re drinking more than this then you may have a problem with alcohol that you need to look at. When you do drink you should try to have less such as half a glass of wine instead of a full glass. For beer you can try light beer instead of the full-strength.
Just because you think you’re fine doesn’t mean you should drive home. Never drink alcohol and then get behind the wheel of a car. You may think you’re actual fine but you could be seriously impaired.
Alcohol When Pregnant
Despite what experts say that it’s safe to drink a couple of drinks per week when pregnant you should avoid alcohol altogether when expecting. It’s just common sense and a good healthy option to avoid any type of alcohol during this time. If you drink your baby could develop Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. The risk rises significantly if you drink heavily during pregnancy.
If You Don’t Feel Drunk
Even if you don’t feel drunk you can still be consuming far too much alcohol. A person who is tall or large might not felt the effects of two beers while someone who is smaller might be quite intoxicated. Just because you don’t feel drunk doesn’t mean your body isn’t reacting to alcohol in a negative way. Just remember that the more you drink the more impaired you’re going to be and you don’t actually need to feel impaired. Your body reaction time can be off without you actually noticing it at all. Your blood alcohol level will still go up even though you don’t feel drunk.
Units of Alcohol
- Half a pint (250ml) of Normal Beer
- 125ml glass of wine
- 25ml of fortified wine like port
You may think you can tolerate that but your body is still intoxicated you just don’t feel it. If you need more alcohol to get that “feeling” of being drunk it means that you’re probably already consuming too much in the first place and you should cut back or quit completely.
Once you get a tolerance for alcohol you may start drinking heavily and not notice that you are. As you drink more you can develop dependency on alcohol and full-blown alcoholism where you need alcohol just to function properly. If you feel you’re drinking too much then you need to work on cutting back.
A glass of wine with a meal is quite normal but if you’re having 3 or 4 then you probably have a problem. You don’t actually need alcohol to enjoy yourself so try eating without the wine and see how you feel. It’s still fine to enjoy one or two drinks but don’t do this on a daily basis because it can easily lead to problems in your life.
More Than a Couple of Drinks is Harmful
If you’re drinking more than a couple of drinks per day you’re reaching an area which can be classified as harmful to your body. In reality you should only have a couple of drinks per week such as with a meal or out with friends after work. If you can’t stop a tone or two drinks or feel you need alcohol to function or enjoy yourself then you’re close to having an addiction to alcohol or you might already be there.
Just remember that as you drink more you’ll get a tolerance for alcohol and you’ll need more for that buzz. Alcohol can be something you drink on occasion but anything more than that is the first step towards dependency and eventually alcoholism.