For some of us, an occasional drink can be a small pleasure. For others, it is a time to relax after work or have a good time with friends or coworkers.

But on the other hand, excessive alcohol consumption is associated with serious health risks and high costs to society. No matter what your reason for doing so, limiting your alcohol consumption is a wise way to reduce the risks.

Moderate drinking is up to 10 drinks per week for women and up to 15 for men, or 2 drinks per day for women and 3 for men. Moderation can mean planning alcohol-free days during the week. Sometimes it means not drinking at all, for example if you are driving or if you are responsible for other people. Basically, for all activities requiring alertness. Moderation also means adjusting how much you drink based on your health concerns—avoid drinking when taking certain medications or if you have certain diseases.

The potential benefits of alcohol, such as cardiovascular health, shouldn’t compel anyone to start drinking regularly. There are plenty of other, more effective ways to improve your health!

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