‘Safe’ Daily Alcohol Limit For People Under 40 Is Just 2 Tablespoons, Study Reveals

A newly released study has claimed that the “safe” amount of alcohol for people under 40 to drink daily is only two tablespoons. That’s markedly less than many of us drink, and more evidence that drinking can have catastrophic effects on our health.

  1. The study comes from the University of Washington’s School of Medicine. Researchers analyzed the risk of alcohol consumption based on a number of outcomes including cancer, cardiovascular diseases, injuries, and 19 others. From their work, they discovered that younger people face higher health risks from drinking and that two tablespoons at most is all they should be drinking.
  2. It’s not all terrible news. Data from the Lancet‘s 2020 Global Burden of Disease discovered that while small amounts of alcohol can have detrimental effects on some people’s health, it can actually be positive for others. How risky alcohol is depends on a variety of factors including age, sex, family history, and even where you live.
  3. Older adults are at lower risk from drinking alcohol. It seems counterintuitive but it’s true. However, that’s not a free pass to start throwing back shots once you hit 40, as limited alcohol consumption still reduces the risk of serious health issues like stroke, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.
  4. Younger people do tend to drink more. The study found that 59% of all excessive drinkers are between the ages of 15 and 39. Not only that, but 75% of those excessive drinkers are men. None of them benefitted from drinking so much, but that never stopped them. Researchers calculated that 1.34 billion people drank harmful amounts of alcohol in 2020 alone, and that number is likely to continue getting higher.
  5. The findings were pretty clear. “Our message is simple: Young people should not drink, but older people may benefit from drinking small amounts,” said senior author Dr. Emmanuela Gakidou, professor of health metrics sciences at the University of Washington’s School of Medicine. “While it may not be realistic to think young adults will abstain from drinking, we do think it’s important to communicate the latest evidence so that everyone can make informed decisions about their health.”
  6. If you’re not going to stop drinking, try to follow the guidelines. If you don’t want to endanger your health, young men can drink about 2.6 tablespoons of beer or 2 teaspoons of wine. According to The Guardian, women can drink 3.3 ounces of beer, which is about 2 tablespoons.
Jennifer has been the managing editor of Bolde since its launch in 2014. Before that, she was the founding editor of HelloGiggles and also worked as an entertainment writer for Bustle and Digital Spy. Her work has been published in Bon Appetit, Decider, Vanity Fair, The New York TImes, and many more.