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National Low-Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines

The Canadian low-risk alcohol drinking guidelines were developed to help Canadians of legal drinking age make informed choices about alcohol consumption and to encourage a culture of moderation.

The Guidelines are:

Reduce your long-term health risks by drinking no more than:

  • 10 drinks a week for women, with no more than 2 drinks a day most days
  • 15 drinks a week for men, with no more than 3 drinks a day most days

Plan non-drinking days every week to avoid developing a habit.

Reduce your risk of injury and harm by drinking no more than 3 drinks (women) and 4 drinks (men) on any single occasion.

  • Stay within weekly limits as above.

For pregnant women, those who are planning to become pregnant or before breastfeeding, the safest choice is to drink no alcohol at all.

Children and youth should delay drinking until their late teens as alcohol can harm their brain and body development.

Additional tips include:

  • Drink slowly. Have no more than 2 drinks in any 3 hours.
  • For every drink of alcohol, have one non-alcoholic drink.
  • Eat before and while you are drinking.
  • Always consider your age, body weight, and health problems that might suggest lower limits.
  • While drinking may provide health benefits for certain groups of people, do not start to drink, or increase your drinking, for health benefits.

Adapted from CCSA, Canada's Low-Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines, November 2011.

 

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