DRINKING ALCOHOL IN MODERATION

If you don’t drink alcohol, there’s no reason to start. If you choose to drink, it’s important to have only a moderate (limited) amount. And some people should not drink at all, like women who are pregnant or trying to get pregnant and people with certain health conditions.

What is the “moderate” Amount of Alcohol?

  • A moderate amount of alcohol means:
  • Up to 1 drink in a day for women
  • Up to 2 drinks in a day for men

What is a “standard” Drink”

Many people are surprised to learn what counts as a drink. The amount of liquid in your glass, can, or bottle does not necessarily match up to how much alcohol is actually in your drink.  Different types of beer, wine, or malt liquor can have very different amounts of alcohol content. For example, many light beers have almost as much alcohol as regular beer – about 85% as much.   Here’s another way to put it:

  • Regular beer: 5% alcohol content
  • Some light beers: 4.2% alcohol content

That’s why it’s important to know how much alcohol your drink contains.  In the United States, one “standard” drink (or one alcoholic drink equivalent) contains roughly 14 grams of pure alcohol, which is found in:

  • 12 ounces of regular beer, which is usually about 5% alcohol
  • 5 ounces of wine, which is typically about 12% alcohol
  • 1.5 ounces of distilled spirits, which is about 40% alcohol

Do you know how much Alcohol is in your Drink?

Even though they come in different sizes, the drinks depicted in the illustration above are each examples of one standard drink defined in the United States as any beverage containing 0.6 fl oz or 14 grams of pure alcohol. The percentage of pure alcohol, expressed here as alcohol by volume (alc/vol), varies within and across beverage types. Although the standard drink amounts are helpful for following health guidelines, they may not reflect customary serving sizes.

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