How Much Alcohol is Too Much?

With the holidays here and with plenty of parties to attend, many adults will find themselves with a drink or two in their hands. Or maybe three, or even more. Because the holidays tend to be rather alcohol-centric, it’s a good time to address the question, “How much alcohol is too much alcohol?”

The government has some very clear guidelines:

  • If you’re male, over 65 and healthy (or a healthy female of any age), no more than 7 drinks per week is recommended. On any given day, alcohol consumption should not exceed 3 drinks.
  • For healthy men up to age 65, a limit of 14 drinks per week is advised. Do not exceed 4 drinks per day.
  • At the discretion of a healthcare provider, lower limits or abstinence are recommended for other populations.

So what constitutes a drink? In the United States, it’s any beverage that contains 0.6 fluid ounces of pure alcohol. That translates to a 12 ounce beer or cooler, 8 ounces of malt liquor, 5 ounces of wine or 1.5 ounces of hard liquor. Keeping in mind that many beverages actually contain several drinks worth of alcohol, things can add up quickly.

Of course, most casual and light drinkers have little to fear. Light to moderate drinking has been associated with some health benefits - and has even been linked to longevity. Heavy drinking, on the other hand, is extremely dangerous. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, alcohol is a factor in about 60% of fatal burn injuries, drownings, and homicides; 50% of severe trauma injuries and sexual assaults; and 40% of fatal motor vehicle crashes, suicides, and fatal falls. Not to mention heavy drinking can lead to health problems like liver disease, heart disease, sleep disorders, depression, stroke, etc. The statistics are quite sobering.

This holiday season, it’s fine to get in the merry spirit of the festivities. But keep track of how much you drink by counting and measuring. Pace and space your drinks, and include plenty of food to help slow alcohol absorption. Explore alternatives (how about a glass of water?) and know your “no.” When you’ve reached your limit, be ready with a polite but firm “no thanks.”

About Davey Wavey

Davey Wavey is a certified personal trainer and YouTube sensation with more than 250 million video views. For Davey's fitness tips and secrets, sign up for his free monthly newsletter - or download any of his affordable and effective workout programs.


  1. Thanks for posting this Davey !
    In recent years I’ve come to the realisation that I drink mostly because I can rather than because I enjoy it.
    Being a pretty big guy, and having a genetic predisposition to being able to hold my liquor it was easy to just keep slamming them back. That being said I recently realized that it wasn’t really doing anything for me. WHY was I drinking? Shockingly enough, it was essentially because others were and there was no real reason not to.

    Needless to say, I changed my mind and have made a choice to cut a LOT of that out. It was hurting my recovery time after training, it was causing some less than pleasant mornings and, to be quite honest, it was getting expensive for no good reason..

    Rule of thumb.. drink when you’d really like that drink and not just because it’s there. A glass of wine would be awesome with this meal, or a beer would be amazing after that hot day’s work in the yard. Ya know!?

  2. Thanks for the wonderful article it has really helped me. You efforts putting this blog together was worth the while. Thank you for the info Davey.

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