Different governments across the globe have different guidelines about what they consider the safe limit for alcohol consumption; so the amount of alcohol you can consume safely depends on where you live. A recent study assessing the safe drinking guidelines in 37 countries revealed the following:

  1. Some countries have the same drinking guidelines for men and women, implying that the recommended limit is the same for all drinkers. These countries include:
  • Australia – with a maximum drinking limit of 20 grams of alcohol per day
  • South Africa – with a maximum drinking limit of 24 grams of alcohol per day
  • Portugal – with a maximum drinking limit of 10 – 24 grams of alcohol per day
  • Grenada – with a maximum drinking limit of 14 grams of alcohol per day
  1. Although researchers argue that there is no clear benefit to setting different safe drinking limits for men and women, some countries have set very low daily drinking limits for each sex. For instance,
  • Sweden, Singapore, Croatia, Bosnia, Slovenia, and Herzegovina recommend a maximum limit of 10 grams of alcohol for women, and 20 for men
  1. Some countries have very high drinking limits, but this does not necessarily mean that you can consume that much alcohol safely every day. For instance,
  • USA and Chile allow women to consume as many as 3 drinks per day, and men up to 4 drinks per day. That said, the recommended weekly limit in the US is 7 drinks for women and 14 for men.
  1. Some countries allow people to drink a little more than is allowed on “special occasions.” For instance,
  • Canada has a recommended limit of 2 drinks a day for women and 3 drinks for men, but allows women to drink up to 3 drinks and men up to 4 drinks, on special occasions.
  1. Some countries require that people don’t consume any alcohol a certain number of days per week. For instance
  • Canada recommends that people have alcohol-free days each week without specifying the number of days
  • Poland, Fiji, and New Zealand recommend at least 2 non-drinking days per week
  1. The recommendation from the WHO about the size of a standard drink is 10 grams of alcohol. Many countries adhere to this standard, but others have their own recommendations for the size of a “standard drink.” For instance, the standard drink size in:
  • Canada – is 13.6 grams
  • Luxembourg – is 12.8 grams
  • Iceland – is 8 grams
  • Austria – is 20 grams

It is worth noting that an ounce of wine contains 2.4 – 2.8 grams of alcohol, while an ounce of beer contains 1 – 1.2 grams of alcohol. The amount of alcohol is different in every drink, so make sure you know how much you are drinking to avoid the harmful effects of alcohol as recommended in your country.


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