5 On Your Side

Monitor alcohol consumption to avoid issues during the holiday season

Posted December 13, 2017 3:46 p.m. EST
Updated December 13, 2017 4:59 p.m. EST

Holiday parties mean holiday cocktails, but how much is too much?

Many studies show that alcohol, in moderate amounts, is linked to a lower risk of heart attack, stroke and death from cardiac-related problems.

Other research suggests moderate drinking may be linked to elevated risks of breast cancer and esophageal and mouth cancers, especially among those who also smoke.

One study found that men who drank, even moderately, had higher odds of developing a brain condition that could be an early sign of Alzheimer’s.

While not totally without risk, most experts agree that one drink per day for women and two per day for men is fine. Those numbers are based on a “standard pour,” which is 5 ounces for wine, 12 ounces for beer and 1.5 ounces for hard liquor.

The shape of a glass can impact how much a person drinks. Researchers at Cornell University had students pour drinks into short, wide glasses and tall, slender glasses. All had the same volume, but the students poured 30 percent more alcohol, on average, into the short glasses compared with the tall glasses.

A good way to temper the impact of any alcohol consumed is to commit to sipping a full glass of water between drinks.