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Another glass of wine?

May 16, 2011

It’s 9:00 Wednesday night, and you’re relaxing in front of an old James Bond movie. The bottle of red wine that you had with dinner is sitting in the kitchen, half empty. Did you overdo it?

Not really. A half bottle of wine is 375 mls, or 13 ounces. For men, the daily limit allows 12 oz. Pretty close.

But how about another glass? It’s red wine, full of good things like antioxidants and resveratrol from grape skins.  Well, for heart disease, it doesn’t seem to matter. The recommended max dose for men* is 2 “standard drinks,” which can be:

  • Two 6 oz glasses of wine – 1.44 oz alc
  • Two 12 oz beers (5%) – 1.2 oz alc
  • Two 1.5 oz shots of hard liquor (80 proof) – 1.2 oz alc
  • In general: 1.2 oz of total daily alcohol

The American Heart Association states that a “glass of wine” is 4 oz (2 glasses = .96 oz alc). This is conservative compared to some studies, but the AHA is widely respected. If this seems controversial, other countries report daily allowances of .68 – 1.35 oz, with Italy in 1st place!  *(Sorry ladies, your limit is one drink).

Abstinence is always best for people who can’t metabolize alcohol, have certain medical conditions, or are in recovery. No one recommends to start drinking if you’re not already. If you’re pushing past these limits, you begin to risk high blood pressure, weight gain, and stroke, not to mention additional problems and an impaired lifestyle. Your doctor can determine how your body is handling it and help you work out some individual guidelines. Research on alcohol intake is ongoing. The information on this post is not set in stone, and your good judgment is advised.

End note: alcoholic drinks can be enjoyed and help get the party started. However, alcohol has also resulted in more broken homes and social devastation than all illicit drugs combined. Alcoholics Anonymous will guide you to local meetings. Don’t let it get to the point where someone has to call 911, and don’t let that white elephant become roadkill.

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