Alcohol intake can have many effects on the body – negative, and even positive. Immediate negative impacts of alcohol intake include interference with brain communication pathways causing poorer thinking and coordination, and changes in mood. Long term negative impacts of alcohol intake include heart issues like cardiomyopathies (changes in heart muscles) and arrhythmias (irregular heart beats), liver diseases like cirrhosis and steatosis, pancreas conditions like pancreatitis, and even cancer of the mouth, throat, and esophagus. In moderation, alcohol intake can be beneficial; moderate consumption of wine has been shown to help with weight loss, reduce the risk of catching the cold, and boost your memory. Moderate beer consumption has shown to help increase bone density and alleviate the symptoms of menopause. Although alcohol intake can have a number of health benefits for the body but it is important to remember that this is only in the case of light-to-moderate drinkers, not those who consume large amounts of alcohol. Guidelines recommend that women consume less than 10 alcoholic drinks in a week (with no more than 2 drinks a day), while men are recommended to consume less than 5 drinks a week (with no more than 3 drinks a day).
To calculate the amount of alcohol in the body, blood alcohol concentration (or blood alcohol content) is used. Blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is calculated using information about one’s weight, gender, and amount of alcohol consumed in a given time period. The Widmark Formula is commonly used to calculate BAC. The Widmark Formula requires you to know the amount of standard drinks you have consumed and the timeframe in which the drinks were consumed. As per the Widmark Formula, a standard drink is equal to a 1.5-ounce drink containing 40% volume of alcohol (eg. a glass of gin), 12 ounces for a 5% volume of alcohol drink (eg. a bottle of beer), or 5 ounces for a 12% volume of alcohol drink (eg. a glass of wine).
Use our Alcohol Intake Calculator to determine your blood alcohol level!
Disclaimer: this tool will only provide an estimate of the concentration of alcohol in your blood. An individual’s actual BAC is dependent on many factors including their liver function and overall health.