Limiting Alcohol to Manage High Blood Pressure

Older female drinking red wine

Can too much alcohol affect your blood pressure?

Drinking too much alcohol can raise your blood pressure. If you have high blood pressure, also known as hypertension, your health care professional may ask you to cut back on drinking.

Preventing high blood pressure

Science tells us that it’s best to limit alcohol. The American Heart Association recommends no more than two drinks per day for men and one drink per day for women for people who choose to drink alcohol. Generally, one drink equals:

  • 12-ounce beer (5% alcohol)
  • 8-ounce malt liquor (7% alcohol)
  • 5-ounce glass of wine (12% alcohol)
  • 1.5 ounces of 80-proof liquor

I’ve read that red wine is heart healthy — can I drink as much as I’d like?

Red wine is not a miracle drink for heart heath. Some scientific studies have shown small amounts of red wine may be linked to improved heart health. But the link reported in many studies may be due to lifestyle factors other than alcohol. Like any dietary or lifestyle choice, if you choose to drink red wine, it’s about moderation

If you need help

Ask your health care professional about getting help if cutting back on alcohol is hard. Getting help is easier than you may think. And there’s no shame in seeking help. Many people struggle with alcohol.

Learn more about alcohol and heart health.