Understanding Alcoholic Beverage Measurements

The strength of alcoholic drinks varies greatly, from beer with 4 to 5% ethanol to spirits with over 40% ethanol. To measure alcohol consumption and understanding alcoholic beverage measurements, a standard unit called a standard drink or drink equivalent is used. In the US, a standard drink is defined as any beverage containing 0.6 oz (14 g) of ethanol. In Europe and the UK, the standard drink definition ranges from 8 g to 18 g, with most countries considering a standard drink as 10 g of ethanol. Counting the number of drinks consumed instead of measuring the actual amount of ethanol consumed can lead to underestimating and ultimately excessive drinking as the ethanol content and volume of alcoholic beverages can vary greatly.

Common Beverages With One Standard Drink
Common Beverages With One Standard Drink.
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Nutrition Coach.

One Standard Drink Around the World



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CountryGrams of Ethanol
in a Standard Drink
Recommended Daily Alcohol Consumption
Argentina14Up to 20 g for males and females
Australia10Up to 20 g for males and females
Canada13.5No more than three drinks for males and two drinks for females, up to 15 drinks per week for males and 10 drinks per week for females
Chile14Up to 14 g for males and females
ChinaNot ClassifiedUp to 25 g for males and 15 g for females
France10Up to 20 g for males and females and no more than 100 g per week
GermanyNot ClassifiedUp to 24 g for males and 12 g for females
India8Up to 16 g for males and 8 g for females
Italy12Up to 24 g for males and 12 g for females and males aged between 18 to 21 and above 65 years
Japan20Up to 40 g for males and 20 g for females
Mexico1313 to 26 g for males and 13 g for females
South AfricaNot ClassifiedUp to two beers or glasses of wine for males and females
United Kingdom8Up to 112 g per week for males and females
United States14Up to 28 g for males and 14 g for females
Visit the International Alliance for Responsible Drinking (IARD) website at http://www.iard.org for a more detailed look at
each country’s alcohol intake reccomendations.