What is safe or healthier drinking?
Plan to have at least two alcohol-free days every week.
And when you do drink, keep to:
- Two standard drinks a day for women and no more than 10 standard drinks a week.
- Three standard drinks a day for men and no more than 15 standard drinks a week.
Reduce your risk of injury on a single occasion of drinking by drinking no more than:
- Four standard drinks for women on any single occasion.
- Five standard drinks for men on any single occasion.
Keeping to these levels makes for a better night out - and a better day after. It reduces the likelihood of suffering a hangover or unpleasant post-drinking experience.
What's a standard drink?
A standard drink is how much alcohol the average person can process in one hour. You can't speed this process up, and your body can only deal with one drink at a time. So, if you have three standard drinks, it will take three hours for your body to process them. The size of a standard drink depends on how strong your beer, wine or spirit is.
When you're pouring a drink yourself you need to remember that the higher the alcohol is, the smaller the size of a standard drink is. So, the volume and alcohol percentage of your drink will affect how many standard drinks you're consuming.
You can also find out how many standard drinks are in a pack or bottle by looking for the standard drinks symbol on the label. To find out more about standard drinks visit alcohol.org.nz.
A standard drink of spirits is 30ml at 40%.
When not to drink
Avoid alcohol if you:
- Could be pregnant, are pregnant or trying to get pregnant.
- Are on medication that interacts with alcohol.
- Have a condition made worse by drinking alcohol.
- Feel unwell, depressed, tired or cold as alcohol could make things worse.
- Are about to operate machinery or a vehicle or do anything that is risky or requires skill.
- If you are under 18 - the safest option is to delay drinking for as long as possible.