Sorry, You Can’t Have All Your Alcoholic Drinks for the Week at Once

It’s not uncommon to save drinking for the weekend but just because you opt out on the weekdays, doesn’t mean it’s healthy to drink five in a day.

June 22, 2022

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Photo by: Yulia Reznikov/Getty

Yulia Reznikov/Getty

For folks who choose to drink, the 2020-2025 dietary guidelines recommend no more than one drink per day for women and no more than two drinks per day for men. But what if you choose to save all your drinks from the week and drink them over the weekend? Can that be done in a healthy way?

What’s Considered One Drink?

One drink is defined as 12 fluid ounces of beer (5% alcohol by volume), 5 fluid ounces of wine (12% alcohol by volume), 1.5 fluid ounces of 80 proof distilled spirits like rum or vodka (40% alcohol by volume) and 12 fluid ounces of a ready-to-drink alcohol beverage (5% alcohol by volume). Having an alcoholic beverage that has a high alcohol by volume (ABV) changes the amount of “drinks” you are actually consuming. Luckily, there’s no need to do any math — you can use this handy drink calculator created by the Distilled Spirits Council of the U.S.

How Is Binge Drinking Defined?

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), binge drinking is defined as consuming five or more drinks on an occasion for men, or four or more drinks on an occasion for women. As such, saving all your weekly drinks for a Friday or Saturday night would be considered binge drinking. It can also rack up thousands of excess calories rather quickly.

According to the CDC, one in six U.S. adults binge drink, with 25% doing so at least once a week. Binge drinking is risky behavior that’s associated with serious injuries and multiple diseases. It’s also associated with an increased risk of alcohol use disorder, previously referred to as “alcohol dependence or alcoholism,” which is a chronic disease. Signs and symptoms of alcohol use disorder include the inability to limit drinking, continuing to drink despite personal or professional problems, needing to drink more to get the same effect and wanting to drink so badly you can’t think of anything else. If you feel you have a drinking problem, contact your health care professional. You can also reach out to the National Drug and Alcohol Treatment Referral Routing Service at 1-800-662-HELP. They can provide you with information about treatment programs in your local community and allow you to speak with someone about alcohol problems.


Photo by: EHStock/Getty


Stay In Control

If you choose to drink, then do so in moderation. To help keep on track with your drinks here are a few tips to follow:

  • Use a measuring tool, like a jigger or measuring cup, when mixing distilled spirits or pouring them on the rocks.
  • Be mindful of the glass shape. The wider the glass, the higher the chance you will over-pour the alcohol. This is because people tend to judge volume by height.
  • Be more aware with clear-colored alcohol. One study found that it’s easier to pour less of a dark liquid (like red wine) than a clear liquid, such as rum or white wine. The clear liquid creates an optical illusion, which makes it seem like you’re pouring less liquid.
  • Check the alcohol percentage. The higher the alcohol content, the less it takes to meet the drink equivalent. Use the drink calculator mentioned above to help keep track of how much you’re drinking based on the percent percentage.
  • Eat food when enjoying alcohol. Eating food helps slow down the absorption of the alcohol, and also enhances the flavor of the drink. Pairing food and wine is also just fun to do!
  • Alternate alcohol with low-calorie drinks or water in order to stay hydrated and to keep in control of your alcohol consumption.

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