Based on this question How much actual alcohol is safe to drink per day? we can see

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism suggests no more than 4 drinks per day, and no more than 7 drinks per week, to stay at a low risk for an alcohol use.

A single drink technically does vary but about 45ml / 1.5oz of spirit

This makes me think it's not that bad that amount of alcohol.

Says no more than 7, then can be 7, which means one could end up drinking 315ml per week.

From experience,

Won't this affect your brain at all?

I've heard alcohol can kill your neurons.

Could you develop addiction to alcohol by drinking that amount?

Thanks in advance

  • Possible duplicate of How much actual alcohol is safe to drink per day?
    – Cdn_Dev
    Commented Mar 26, 2019 at 17:00
  • This question has been asked in different forms a number of times here, voted to close due to being a duplicate.
    – Cdn_Dev
    Commented Mar 26, 2019 at 17:06
  • TL;DR answer, the research isn't conclusive, but it's probably a safe bet to minimize how much you drink as much as possible
    – Cdn_Dev
    Commented Mar 26, 2019 at 17:06

3 Answers 3


To answer your last question first, drinking 1 drink a day will not make you dependent. Drinking 3 or 4 times that amount probably won't make you dependent physically. Physiologically, you might become dependent on drinking for the effects but with that little amount, it would be very tough to be physically dependent. It's more of a bad habit at that point. I have a family member that was/is an alcoholic and he was drinking a pint of vodka a day. Obviously he was physically dependent.

As someone who was physically dependent on cigarettes a while back, I have never had anything approaching those nicotine cravings. Unless, you've been there you'll never know. But, I do have a habit of coming home from work, cracking a beer and eating dinner. It's relaxing and tastes good.

I know family members that have been drinking almost every day since they were 18 (now in their 80s) and sharp as a tack and others that never drank that can barely remember what day it is. The human body is widely different from one person to another. Some native Americans have a really hard time metabolizing alcohol, while northern Europeans have livers of steel.

So, the answer to your question is that it depends. It depends on so many variables, you'll never get a straight answer. The best thing you can do is drink as little as possible and enjoy yourself. Don't binge drink and don't get into a habit.

  • 1
    I disagree that one drink/day will not cause a physical dependency. Addictive substances don't work like that. If a pint/day will cause an addiction, so will an ounce. It's just that the magnitude of the dependency/harm will be based on how much you drink from day to day. But make no mistake, drinking 1-2 drinks per day is definitely an addiction.
    – Cdn_Dev
    Commented Mar 26, 2019 at 17:05
  • 1
    1-2 drinks a day is a habit. There simply isn't enough alcohol to form a physical dependency (unless you weigh like 75 lbs). You would be surprised how much alcohol is in fruit juice and things like Kombucha and vinegar. I'd worry more about 3 cups of coffee a day than a glass a wine a day. Commented Mar 26, 2019 at 22:29
  • 1
    While definitely not a habit that's worth worrying about, and also one that's easily broken, if you have a single drink per day every day for months, you will definitely feel it if you stop. There's just a fine line between 'full blown alcoholism', and 'my body is used to consuming this regularly'. IMO, the real problem comes in the middle ground, when people drink 2-3 beers/day and think it's normal because they still function ok. That's what I'd call a pernicious addiction.
    – Cdn_Dev
    Commented Mar 26, 2019 at 22:47
  • The thinner you are the more likely you are to form a physical dependency? really? Commented Mar 27, 2019 at 3:00
  • "Additionally, the less you weigh, the more you will be affected by a given amount of alcohol." mcwell.nd.edu/your-well-being/physical-well-being/alcohol/… Commented Mar 27, 2019 at 13:13

While I'm not willing to track down specific journals now to source this answer, I can tell you that I've researched this question extensively on Google Scholar to find out the same thing.

To sum up my research - the answer remains somewhat inconclusive, as is the case with many questions in diet science.

The problem is that researchers can't easily isolate the effects of alcohol from other lifestyle choices, which are many and varied. For instance: sure you can find 1000 people who drink once per day, but the other food/drink they consume, their age, gender, genetics, level of exercise, job etc etc etc all vary wildly.

What this means is that it's impossible to give a definitive answer using scientific research.

But I can tell you this

Alcohol is a toxin, it's not meant to be consumed by humans, and in fact we have physiological mechanisms (read: our liver) to deal with such toxins entering our body.

On the plus side, if you only have one drink per day and don't mix it with other medications that cause liver damage, for the most part you should be fine. The body was built with an ability to metabolize and excrete such substances fairly tidily.

But make no mistake, alcohol is a toxin and there is no conclusive evidence that it confers any type of long-term health benefit, and I may even go as far as saying that 1 drink/day would be harmful to longevity. I say this simply because the body was built to treat it like a toxin, and not a nutrient. By definition a toxin can only harm us.

In all likelihood complete abstinence is the healthiest option. You'll get by, and still live a long life if you drink regularly, but in theory there should be a physiological cost. The question for anyone is whether the benefit of drinking is worth that cost.

  • Thank you for your answer. It's worthed, makes me happy and I know it can help me to 'survive' in difficult times. The main problem that I found is that I wouldn't like at all if it starts to affects my neurons because I am a student. Commented Mar 31, 2019 at 4:46
  • I can't tell if your question is disingenuous or not, but I'll answer anyway. Toxins that enter the bloodstream regularly, and circulate throughout the body will most definitely have an impact on other systems, including the brain. Cigarettes offer a better example because the harm they do is so pervasive - smoke and you're at risk of a whole host of conditions. The same is true of alcohol, but with a much smaller magnitude of risk.
    – Cdn_Dev
    Commented Apr 1, 2019 at 18:10
  • But look at it this way. If you smoke one cigarette per week this poses almost no health risk. If you smoke one cigarette per day that poses 7x more of a health risk than doing so once per day. The same is true of alcohol: the impact on your health will coincide with how much you drink.
    – Cdn_Dev
    Commented Apr 1, 2019 at 18:12
  • If I drink twice the standard amount (45ml), for say 2 months, and eating healthy and working out for 1 hour a day. What do you think could happen to me ? Commented Apr 2, 2019 at 22:55
  • What could be the worst thing to happen? Commented Apr 2, 2019 at 22:56

Can drinking 45ml of spirit (40%) per day affect your health?

A drink or two a day is quite fine to drink providing there is no history of proven alcohol dependency or some other underlining medical problem such as diabetes.

A drink or two per day is not a habit, but could become habit forming if it becomes a daily necessity by which an individual can not live without.

In France, it is quite normal and even customary to serve wine at mealtime. I doubt it would be bad for one's health, since governments would be on this very quickly. While living in France, the families I know had one or two glasses of wine with their meals with no ill effects. Some were even in the medical profession!

People have different opinions on how many drinks one may safely have per day. Even then there may be some risk.

How Much Alcohol Is Too Much?

According to extensive research by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), less than 2 percent of drinkers who fall within the following guidelines ever develop alcohol use disorders.

Men: Four or Fewer Drinks Per Day

For men, low-risk alcohol consumption is considered drinking four or fewer standard drinks on any single day and less than 14 drinks during in a given week. According to the NIAAA, to remain low-risk, both the daily and weekly guidelines must be met.

In other words, if you are a man and you drink only four standard drinks per day, but you drink four every day, you are drinking 28 drinks per week. That is twice the recommended level for low-risk alcohol consumption. Likewise, drinking four drinks a day four times a week would also exceed the guidelines.

Women: Three or Fewer Drinks Per Day

Research has shown that women develop alcohol problems at lower levels of consumption than men. Therefore, the guidelines for low-risk drinking are lower for women. The NIAAA guidelines are three or fewer standard drinks a day and no more than seven drinks per week.

Again, both the daily and weekly standards must be met to remain in the low-risk category. If you drink only two drinks a day but drink them every day, that is 14 drinks a week, or twice the recommended amount for low-risk consumption.

Further reading may be seen as follows:

Drinking should always be done in moderation. Alcoholic drinks drank in such conditions would not impair one's health or brain. That say one who is has very little body weight should be aware that having a drink could make them legally drunk more quickly. This could possibly hamper one's skills while impaired.

Experts believe that drinking does not actually lead to brain cell death. In fact, researchers have found that moderate drinking can have a number of health benefits, including improved cognitive abilities and lowered cholesterol levels.

One study that involved comparing the number of neurons found in the brains of alcoholics and non-alcoholics found that there was no difference in neocortical neurons between the two groups.

Even heavy binge drinking and long-term alcohol abuse don't actually result in the death of brain cells. Instead, alcohol damages the dendrites located in the cerebellum and reduces the communication between neurons. Researchers discovered that alcohol use not only disrupts communication between neurons; it can also alter their structure. One thing it does not do, they found, is kill off cells.

Does Drinking Alcohol Kill Brain Cells?

  • Thanks for your answer. Though you did not answer my other question: Won't this affect your brain at all ? I mean that if could affect your skills? for instance code skills? Commented Mar 31, 2019 at 4:56
  • well, apparently won't kill my brain cells :-) .I think won't be a big deal especially if I do it for only two months at most. Commented Apr 3, 2019 at 23:55
  • @America Some things are already written in tons of places on the web so no need to post in here ;) Commented Apr 24, 2020 at 9:40

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