Health Advocate Blog

Be under a better influence: Know your alcohol facts

Since the 1980s, the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence has recognized April as National Alcohol Awareness Month. The goal of this month is to illustrate the pervasiveness of alcohol and alcohol-related issues. However, this message often fails to reach people who drink casually or socially. Often times, casual drinkers don’t realize that even though they may not be drinking what they think is irresponsible or excessive, there are still health effects. Know your facts to help you drink responsibly!

How much is too much?

  • Moderate drinking is defined as 1 drink per day for women and 2 drinks per day for men.
  • Excessive drinking is defined as 4 or more drinks for women and 5 or more drinks for men on one occasion.
  • Heavy drinking is defined as 8 or more drinks per week for women and 15 or more drinks per week for men.

One drink is equal to:

  • 12 ounces of beer
  • 8 ounces of a malt beverage
  • 5 ounces of wine
  • 5 ounces of liquor (a shot)

Long-term health risks that can result from drinking include:

  • Weight gain, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, liver disease, digestive problems
  • Cancers including those of the breast, mouth and throat, liver and colon
  • Learning and memory problems
  • Mental health issues such as depression and anxiety
  • Alcohol dependence and addiction

Don’t drink your calories!

Many people don’t consider alcohol to be part of their “diet” when working to change their nutrition habits, especially with weight loss. However, the calories in alcohol add up quickly! See how many calories are in your average drinks below:

  • 5 ounce glass of red wine – 125 calories
  • 5 ounce glass of white wine – 120 calories
  • 12 ounce beer – 154 calories
  • 5 ounce shot of liquor – 96 calories
  • Martini – 260 calories
  • Pina colada – 300 calories
  • Margarita – up to 500 calories!
  • Long Island iced tea – up to 700 calories!

For more information, visit: CDC: Fact Sheets – Alcohol:

For Health Advocate Members

If you’re a Health Advocate member with access to the wellness coaching component of our Wellness Program, contact us today to speak with a Wellness Coach for more tips to keep you healthy. Additionally, if you have access to our EAP+Work/Life service, our Licensed Professional Counselors and work/life specialists can provide counseling and resources that may help if you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol.