Many people are surprised to learn just how little alcohol is safe to consume daily without overindulging.
According to the National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines, a safe amount of alcohol consumption for the average adult is one drink a day for women and two drinks a day for men.
Just what is a drink? One drink is:
- 12-ounce bottle of beer
- 5-ounce glass of wine
- 1.5-ounce shot of liquor
The key to safely enjoying alcohol is moderation. Here are five tips to help you avoid becoming tipsy.
- Limit time with friends or at social events that trigger you to drink more than you should. If your one Friday post-work happy hour drink is turning into three, try signing up for a healthier way to unwind, like joining a running club or other fitness group, starting a book club or setting up a happy hour at a coffee shop that does not serve alcohol
- Sip, don’t swig. Alcoholic beverages are meant to be enjoyed for their taste, not their buzz factor. If it’s hard for you to take it slowly, try alternating sips of your drink with sips of water or opting for a non-alcoholic beverage altogether.
- Save your shots for the doctor’s office. Shots of alcohol are dangerous for many reasons, especially because their effects tend to sneak up on you.
- Eat. Fill your stomach with healthy proteins and carbohydrates that will keep you feeling full so that you don’t drink more than you need to.
- Reward yourself for limiting or eliminating your booze intake. Take pride in becoming the designated driver. You could just save a life or two! Spend the extra money you saved opting out of alcohol to buy a massage or new outfit.
Drinking too much alcohol can increase your risk of health-related injuries, violence, drowning, liver disease, and some types of cancer.
If you suspect you or someone you care about has a drinking problem, remember alcohol dependency is common, and it’s treatable. There are many resources available to you if you are concerned about your own or a loved one’s drinking habits.
You can find an extensive list of licensed care throughout North Dakota at https://www.nd.gov/dhs/services/mentalhealth/.
Denise Pinkney is an editor in the Communications department at Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota.