Is Drinking Vodka Every Day Bad?

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If you enjoy drinking vodka from time to time, you are not alone. Vodka is one of the most popular alcohols in the world. It is smooth, mixes well into many different cocktails, and is a lower-calorie option as far as alcohol goes. It is no wonder vodka is a drink of choice for so many people.

But, as with any type of alcohol, drinking vodka can quickly become too much of a good thing. If you find yourself drinking vodka every day, you may be wondering, how much is too much? Below, we’ll discuss how to know if you’re drinking too much vodka, and how to recognize possible side effects of drinking vodka every day.

Is Drinking Vodka Every Day Bad For You?

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Photo by Estée Janssens on Unsplash

Hundreds of years ago, vodka was primarily used for medicinal purposes—as an antiseptic, fever reducer, and disinfectant. Over time, it became increasingly popular as a recreational drink. It is now one of the most popular ingredients in mixed cocktails and one of the best-known liquors in the world. But is drinking vodka every day bad for your health?

As with most things, drinking vodka in moderation is not necessarily harmful. What does moderate drinking mean? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines moderate drinking as one to two alcoholic drinks or less per day, depending on your gender. For vodka, this means one or two standard shots measured at approximately 1.5 ounces each (at 80 proof). If you drink vodka every day, but within these limits, it may be safe.

So, how much vodka is too much vodka? In truth, people who drink anything beyond the above recommendations increase their risk of health problems. Overindulging on occasion may not have major negative consequences. But the more regularly you drink vodka in excess, the more significant the impact on your health may be.

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Is Drinking A Fifth of Vodka Every Day A Lot?

First off, how much is a fifth of alcohol? A fifth of vodka is one-fifth of a gallon. If you imagine a gallon of milk, one-fifth is a significant amount.

Now imagine a bottle of wine, which is usually 750ml. A fifth of vodka is equal in size to a standard bottle of wine, though it is much more potent because of how much alcohol is in vodka. In the United States, the required vodka alcohol percentage is a minimum of 40%.

Drinking a fifth of vodka every day is not just unhealthy, it’s downright dangerous. A fifth contains about 17 shots of vodka, which is at least eight times the recommended daily alcohol consumption limit. By contrast, a 750ml wine bottle contains about five glasses of wine at the standard measurement. Still a lot—but it pales in comparison to the vodka!

A fifth of vodka will leave you feeling absolutely wrecked the next day. Not to mention it’s expensive. A 750ml bottle of a mid-range vodka costs approximately $20 at a liquor store—and considerably more at a bar or restaurant. That is at least $140 per week.

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Is Vodka Worse Than Wine for Your Liver?

The impact on liver health from both wine and vodka depends on the amount and frequency of consumption. However, because vodka has a higher alcohol concentration than wine, as mentioned above, you’ll reach the same level of alcohol with far less vodka than wine. It’s important to be extra mindful of how much you’re drinking to protect your liver if vodka is your beverage of choice.

Is Drinking a Pint of Vodka Every Day A Lot?

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While drinking a pint of vodka is preferable to a fifth of vodka, it is still a lot of alcohol. In the United States, a pint is equal to about 473ml, or an eighth of a gallon. This is a little over half a bottle of red wine.

This is exactly why the type of alcohol you drink is just as important as the amount you drink. A pint of beer is a very reasonable amount of alcohol, and generally falls within the daily recommended limit. However, a pint of vodka is equal to about 10 vodka shots. This is five times or more the daily limit for moderate drinking. The same quantity of different alcohols equals very different health outcomes.

How Many Units of Vodka is Too Much?

The concept of “units” of alcohol is a helpful way to gauge safe consumption levels. In many guidelines, one unit is defined as 10 milliliters (or 8 grams) of pure alcohol. For vodka, with its typical alcohol content of around 40%, this is equal to about 25 milliliters (or a small shot) per unit.

Some health authorities have recommended not regularly exceeding 14 units of alcohol per week for both men and women, ideally spread over multiple days. So with vodka, more than 14 shots spread out over the week could be considered too much.

These limits are set to reduce health risks associated with alcohol consumption but any level of alcohol consumption still carries health risks. These guidelines should be considered a general recommendation rather than a one-size-fits-all rule.

Read more about different standard drink sizes and recommended limits.

Possible Health Benefits & Risks of Drinking Vodka Every Day

Some studies have shown that drinking alcohol in moderation—including vodka—has some possible health benefits, including:

  • Improved mood and digestion
  • Reduced risk of heart attack and stroke
  • Increased levels of good cholesterol
  • Reduced risk of blood clots
  • Improved blood sugar regulation

Additional benefits of vodka vs other types of alcohol include:

But before you give yourself permission to overindulge, take note that these studies have not been conclusive and that drinking excessive amounts of vodka or any other kind of alcohol has significant health risks. These include:

How Can You Cut Back On Drinking Vodka?

You don’t have to stop drinking vodka completely to improve your health. Cutting back to the recommended levels can help reverse the damage done by excessive alcohol consumption, and improve your long-term health.

If you rely on alcohol to wind down after a long day or improve your mood, try looking for other alternatives—such as exercise or connecting with a friend—that can give you a boost. If drinking is already embedded in your routine, understanding your triggers can help get it under control.

For those who are dependent on alcohol, however, willpower alone may not be enough. There’s no shame in looking for some outside help to cut back. Ria Health offers flexible, online support from wherever you may be. Choose moderation or abstinence, set your own goals, and get a plan customized to your unique needs. Best of all, you can access the whole thing right from your smartphone.

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Written By:
Ria Health Team
Ria Health’s editorial team is a group of experienced copywriters, researchers, and healthcare professionals dedicated to removing stigma and improving public knowledge around alcohol use disorder. Articles written by the “Ria Team” are collaborative works completed by several members of our writing team, fact-checked and edited to a high standard of empathy and accuracy.
Reviewed By:
Evan O'Donnell
Evan O’Donnell is an NYC-based content strategist with four years’ experience writing and editing in the recovery space. He has conducted research in sound, cognition, and community building, has a background in independent music marketing, and continues to work as a composer. Evan is a deep believer in fact-based, empathic communication—within business, arts, academia, or any space where words drive action or change lives.

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