What are the low-risk alcohol guidelines?

What are the low-risk alcohol guidelines?

In Ireland, we underestimate how much alcohol we drink by around 60%. However, it is important to keep track of how much you drink to make sure you don’t exceed the guidelines and ultimately, protect your health and wellbeing.

The guidelines are:

  • 11 standard drinks (110g pure alcohol) spread out over the week for women, with at least two alcohol-free days
  • 17 standard drinks (170g pure alcohol) spread out over the week for men, with at least two alcohol-free days

Drinks should be spaced out over the week and should never be saved up to drink on one occassion. These guidelines are intended for adults only; there is no safe level of alcohol intake for those below the legal drinking age of 18 years.

Use our calculator to find out if you are within the guidelines in a typical week

How much is too much?

How much and how often you drink can affect how alcohol impacts your health and wellbeing. Binge drinking is when you drink six or more standard drinks in one sitting (for example, three pints of 4.5% beer). Regularly drinking alcohol at this level can increase your risk of experiencing alcohol-related harms, such as:

  • Stomach disease
  • Accidents
  • Stroke
  • Violence
  • Cancers
  • Depression

Staying within the low-risk guidelines is strongly advised to reduce these risks. If you, or someone you know, regularly drinks more than the guidelines, you should consider reducing how much alcohol you consume. Here are some quick and easy tips that may help you to cut down.

Find out more about how alcohol affects you »