Alcohol intake

Drinking alcohol may increase your blood pressure and triglycerides.

Drinking alcohol may increase your blood pressure and triglycerides. If you drink alcohol often you can gain weight. These factors may increase your risk of stroke.

Avoiding alcohol is recommended if you:

  • are on medications
  • have liver disease
  • have atrial fibrillation
  • have high triglycerides

If you drink alcohol, talk with your health care provider to find out if it is safe for you.

This chart shows the recommended guidelines for drinking alcohol:

 Maximum standard drinks a dayMaximum standard drinks a week
Men0 to 3 drinks0 to 15 drinks
Women0 to 2 drinks0 to 10 drinks
Sources: Heart and Stroke and Centre for Addiction and Mental Health

How can I monitor my alcohol intake?

  • Keep track of how many drinks you have on an average day and an average week. This can help you stay within the recommended limits.
  • If you decide to limit alcohol, set a goal and make a plan.
  • If you feel unable to limit your drinking, speak with your healthcare provider for support.

Having read the information in this section, consider the following:

  • Do I know how much alcohol is in one standard drink?
  • Do I know how alcohol can affect my health?
  • Is it safe to drink alcohol if I am taking medication?
  • Do I have too many alcoholic drinks in a day or week?
  • Do I need help in managing how much alcohol I drink?

Where to get more information, help and support:

Alcoholics Anonymous Meetings

Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction

Center for Addiction and Mental Health

Toronto Central Healthline

Stroke Association