What is a standard drink?


Quick Answer

In the United States, a standard drink is comprised of approximately 14 grams of alcohol. Among the various kinds of alcoholic beverages, a 12-ounce bottle or can of beer that contains 5 percent alcohol by volume is considered a standard drink. An 8.5-ounce can of malt liquor, 7 percent alcohol by volume, is also considered standard sized. Five ounces of wine is considered standard too.

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Full Answer

A standard-sized, 12-ounce beer contains 148 calories. A standard drink of Budweiser beer contains 40 calories, and a standard light beer features 100 calories. A standard drink of malt liquor holds 130 calories, while the standard drink of table wine holds 124 calories. Standard drinks of light table wine contain 73 calories.

While standard drink amounts are typically used for determining calories and establishing better health practices, they may not accurately reflect what is customarily served in a bar or restaurant. For instance, a hard liquor drink, served in a bar, may hold as much alcohol by volume as three standard drinks, depending on how it is mixed.

To cut down on alcohol consumption, experts advise that people consume no more than one standard drink per hour and should drink juice or water between alcoholic drinks.

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