Appetite for Life


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There is no amount of alcohol that is safe for everyone. If you choose to drink alcohol, there may be some risks to your health and well being. Here are some ways to reduce the risks.

What is recommended?

To reduce the risk of harm from alcohol-related disease or injury, healthy men and women should drink no more
than 10 standard drinks a week and no more than 4 standard drinks on any one day.

The less you drink, the lower your risk of  harm from alcohol.

What is a standard drink?  Light beer (2.7% alc/vol) 425 mL Mid strength beer (3.5% alc/vol) 375 mL Full strength beer (4.9% alc/vol) 285 mL Regular cider (4.9% alc/vol) 285 mL  Sparkling wine (13% alc/vol) 100 mL Wine (13% alc/vol) 100 mL Fortified wine e.g. sherry, port (20% alc/vol) 60 mL Spirits e.g. vodka, gin, rum, whiskey (40% alc/vol) 30 mL  For more information visit the NHMRC website at

How do I reduce my alcohol intake?

  • Make every second drink non-alcoholic.
  • Sip on water regularly.
  • Choose low alcohol beer.
  • Mix wine with soda or mineral water.
  • Add soft drink, soda or mineral water and ice to spirits.
  • Serve drinks in a smaller glass.
  • Drink slowly.

How much can I drink on a special occasion?

There are only recommendations on how much healthy people can drink safely. If you have a medical condition, talk to your doctor about how much and how often you can drink. Healthy people can drink four standard drinks at most on a single special occasion.  This reduces the chances of injury or illness caused by drinking alcohol.

Is alcohol good for me?

  • Some research shows that drinking a little bit of alcohol, in particular red wine (around half a standard drink a day) can reduce your risk of heart disease.
  • Other studies show drinking alcohol can increase your chance of getting some cancers and other diseases.
  • Talk to your doctor about the pros and cons of drinking alcohol and what amount is right for you.

This general advice was accurate at the time of publication (January 2021). Image credit to For more information about nutrition and your individual needs, see your GP or an Accredited Practising Dietitian.