Alcohol is a depressant found in drinks which in small quantities can lead to reduced anxiety, but in large quantities can lead to impaired judgment, unconsciousness, and even death via alcohol poisoning. Due to these inherent dangers in alcohol, consumption is regulated to older adults and banned from children. Pregnant and lactating women should also avoid consumption of alcohol since it can harm their babies.
Moderate consumption of alcohol (1-2 drinks a day) is associated with health benefits such as reduced risk of all mortality (death) among middle-aged adults, including reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and cognitive decline. This is especially true when consumed in a social setting.
Conversely, over-consumption of alcohol (more than 2 drinks a day) has serious health risks, including increased risk of stroke, high blood pressure, cancer, and cognitive decline. Excessive alcohol consumption and binge drinking also lead to short term loss of judgment, leading to 79,000 deaths in the U.S. alone. Over-consumption of alcohol should be taken seriously as a health threat.
High alcohol drinks include whiskey, liquors, wines, and beers. The amount of alcohol for each drink is given in grams. While no official recommended daily intake (RDI) of alcohol is given, we chose to use 20 grams, which is equal to the amount of alcohol in one can of a normal beer (or 1 drink). So when you see the percent recommended daily intake (%RDI) it is the amount of alcohol in one drink. It is a bit of an underestimate to emphasize the need for moderation.
The amount of alcohol a person can tolerate depends on a variety of factors, but the most important is their body size, weight, and amount of water in their body. It is recommended that you consume alcohol with water and/or food. Below are the top 10 drinks highest in alcohol, with the %RDI, and amount of calories in each drink.