Moderation, by definition, means “the avoidance of excess or extremes, especially in one’s behavior.” But when it comes to consuming alcohol, moderation can mean different things to different people.

Drinking, like eating or any social activity, has guidelines to help you get more enjoyment and benefits out of the activity. Alcohol consumed in moderation can actually be a good thing, as it can reduce the risk of heart disease and ischemic stroke and protect against certain illnesses and ailments, such as diabetes, high blood pressure and gallstones. But when consumed more heavily, alcohol can have negative effects on your body, your health, your mood and, if you’re pregnant, your unborn child.

It’s not so much about what you drink as how you drink. For example, drinking a six pack on a Saturday night and then not drinking at all the other six days is not equal to having one drink per day. The health and wellbeing implications are much more serious when alcohol is over-consumed. Visit the Consumption Patterns module to learn more.

Here are some tips to help you consume alcohol responsibly:

  • Sip your drink slowly; don’t gulp it down
  • Eat food as you drink
  • Know your limits
  • Consume a drink only when you really want one
  • Don’t drink and drive
  • Beware of consuming alcohol if you take certain medications
  • Don’t pressure those who do not want to drink; don’t let yourself be pressured