Strap in for this pintful of bad news.
The maximum number of drinks you can have a week to be a healthy person is five. Total. That's about 100g of alcohol, or five standard size glasses of wine or pints of beer. Drink more than that in a week, and you run a higher risk for heart failure, stroke, fatal aneurysm, or death.
This sobering guideline comes courtesy of a new paper studying the drinking habits and health of almost 600,000 people. It found that when 40-year-old participants had more than five drinks in a week, their risk of early death rose steadily.
Here's an even more exact breakdown, as a leading scientist in the field of understanding public risk, David Spiegelhalter of the University of Cambridge, told the Guardian: For a 40-year-old, every glass of alcohol above the suggested weekly limit shortens their life by 15 minutes. If a 40-year-old drinks three glasses of wine a night, for example, he loses two years of his life.
The risk is "about the same as a cigarette," Spiegelhalter said.
On the other hand, a recent study found that if you're over the age of 90, drinking two glasses of beer or wine a day gives you a better shot at living longer. Get yourself into your nineties on a healthy, five-beer-a-week diet, and then you can go crazy (relatively speaking).
Or, you can go to the bar this weekend, order what you want, and worry about this another day. Because what's the point of living a long life if you're not enjoying it?
This story originally appeared on Esquire.com.
* Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.