If you said 3 or 4 then each glass holds 2 or more standard drinks. Those glasses can get very large!
A standard drink is 10g of alcohol:
*A 285ml beer is a pot in Victoria, a middy in NSW, the ACT and WA, a schooner in SA and a handle in the NT. Confusing?
It can be hard to work out how many standard drinks you have actually had. An average stubby or can of beer contains 1.5 standard drinks, so a "six pack" actually contains 9 standard drinks! Drinks we pour at home can be much be larger than a standard drink.
The NHMRC recommend that we drink no more than 2 standard drinks per day and limit to no more than 4 standard drinks at any one time. There should also be 2 alcohol free days per week. The Cancer Council says that there is no safe level of intake and recommend that men have no more than 2 and women no more than 1 standard drink per day. Regular drinking can lead to alcohol dependence.
Excess alcohol intake can contribute to many health problems. It can affect your liver or cause brain damage, heart disease, high blood pressure and increases your risk of many cancers. It increases your risk of injury through car accidents, violence, falls and accidental death. Alcoholic drinks are also high in calories and can contribute to weight gain. Alcohol can stimulate your appetite, meaning that you eat a lot more- not great for the waistline.
Alcohol is thought to have some protective benefits for the heart, but the increased risk of cancer must be offset against this possible benefit to the heart. If you are non drinker, there is no clear reason to start drinking. Pregnant or breastfeeding women are advised not to drink alcohol. Young people should be encouraged to delay introduction of alcohol.
If you have a medical problem or are taking medication then speak to your doctor or dietitian about your special circumstances.