Does Alcohol Raise Blood Pressure?

The simple answer is yes.   But let’s break it down.

What is considered a drink?

12 ounce beer
4 ounce glass of wine
1.5 ounces of 80 proof liquor
1 ounce of 100 proof liquor

The medical recommendation is:   If you have high blood pressure avoid alcohol or drink alcohol in moderation.

Moderate alcohol consumption is:

Men under 65 – 2 drinks per day.
Men over 65 – 1 drink per day.
Women – 1 drink per day.

Over 3 drinks in one sitting temporarily raises your blood pressure. Here is an article on how long does alcohol stay in your system.

Regular and heavy drinking can cause a long term increase in blood pressure.

Heavy drinking also increases your chances of: high triglycerides, cancer, obesity, alcoholism, stroke and accidents.

Warning:   If you are currently on blood pressure medication, alcohol can interfere with how this medication works.   Please check with your health care professional to see if any alcohol is acceptable for you.

The positive health benefits of red wine, at this time, have not been proven to decrease blood pressure numbers.

In a study published in Circulation Research  67 men drank 3 glasses of non-alcoholic wine a day for one month which led to a 6 point drop in systolic (the first blood pressure number) blood pressure.   This study was small and will need to be confirmed by additional research.


What are your blood pressure readings telling you:
Normal                     Less than 120         Less than 80
Prehypertension       120-139                                       80-89
Hypertension                   140 or higher                   90 or higher


High Blood Pressure Symptoms:
There are no symptoms.   This is often referred to as the “silent killer”.


Risk Factors for High Blood Pressure:
Genetic — Runs in the family


Lifestyle Choices that help keep blood pressure down.

Eat foods that are good for your heart.

Keep your sodium intake low.   This means not adding extra salt to your food but also monitoring the salt you are ingesting in processed and packaged foods.

Reduce the stress you have in your life.

Lose excess weight.

Get regular exercise. 30 minutes of exercise most days of the week.

Do not smoke or quit smoking.


Help your doctor by monitoring your blood pressure at home.   Read and record your blood pressure at the same time every day.   This is valuable information for your health care provider.

You can find a good free online Blood Alcohol Concentration Calculator here:




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