February 14, 2017

What is a standard drink?

standard drinks on a bar

It can be difficult to keep track of how much alcohol you are having. Different types of drinks contain different amounts of alcohol.

A drink is often much more than a 'standard drink'. An Australian standard drink contains 10g of alcohol (12.5ml of pure alcohol). Keep track of how much you are drinking by counting the number of standard drinks you’re consuming.

Know your standard drinks

  • Spirits 40% alcohol, 30ml nip
  • Wine 13% alcohol, 100ml average serving
  • Sparkling wine 13% alcohol, 100ml
  • Full Strength Beer 4.9% alcohol, 285ml glass
  • Light Beer 2.7% alcohol, 425ml glass
  • Cider 4.9% alcohol, 285ml glass

Keeping track of your drinks

It's difficult to keep track of how much you're drinking because:

  • glass sizes are not the same in different places
  • different types of drinks contain different amounts of pure alcohol
  • sometimes drinks are mixed with unknown quantities of alcohol, e.g. in cocktails and alcoholic punches
  • sometimes jugs and casks are shared
  • glasses may be 'topped up' before they’re empty.

Overcome these issues by using a standard measure of the amount of alcohol that is being drunk, called a 'standard drink'.

The Australian drinking guidelines recommend that to reduce your risk of injury and disease including cancer, keep it to 10 or less standard drinks a week. Have no more than 4 standard drinks in one day to reduce your risk of injury and accidents.

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