Limiting Alcohol to Manage High Blood Pressure

Older female drinking red wine

Can excess alcohol affect your blood pressure?

Drinking too much alcohol can raise your blood pressure. If you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure, also known as hypertension, your health care professional may advise you to reduce the amount of alcohol you drink.

Preventing high blood pressure

If you drink alcohol, limit consumption to no more than two drinks per day for men and one drink per day for women. Generally, one drink equals a 12-ounce beer (5% content), 8-ounce malt liquor (7% content), a 5-ounce glass of wine or 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?

Unfortunately, red wine as a miracle drink for heart health is a myth. The linkage reported in many of these studies may be due to other lifestyle factors rather than alcohol. Like any other dietary or lifestyle choice, it’s a matter of moderation.

If you need help

If cutting back on alcohol is hard for you to do on your own, ask your health care professional about getting help.