What is a “standard drink?”
The type of alcohol you drink does not matter, it’s the alcohol content and amount that effects your Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) the amount of alcohol that is absorbed into your blood stream.
* The body can process 1 standard drink in an hour.
Things to keep in mind when drinking:
The percent of alcohol you are consuming — This will help you determine the number of standard drinks. Dark beer and micro brews often have higher alcohol content than A “standard” beer at 5% and Malt Liquor at 7%.
The number of shots of hard alcohol included in a mixed drink– If you order a drink that has 3 different kinds of alcohol, each equal to a shot, then that mixed drink is equal to THREE standard drinks. (Remember your body can only process 1 standard drink per hour). Also, keep in mind that most bartenders do not measure the amount of alcohol and if they over pour, that amount needs to be added in.)
The size of the drink — Beer is often served by the pint and many places are now offering 20 or 22 oz serving sizes. If the alcohol content of the beer is 7% and it comes in a pint glass one beer is equal to 2 standard drinks. Also see: National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism‘s standard drink sizes.
The current U.S. Health and Human Services’ Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that if you choose to drink alcoholic beverages, do not exceed 1 drink per day for women or 2 drinks per day for men. According to the guidelines, people who should not drink alcoholic beverages at all include the following:
- Children and adolescents. (Anyone under the age of 21)
- Individuals of any age who cannot limit their drinking to low level.
- Women who may become pregnant or who are pregnant.
- Individuals who plan to drive, operate machinery, or take part in other activities that require attention, skill, or coordination.
- Individuals taking prescription or over-the-counter medications that can interact with alcohol.
- Individuals with certain medical conditions.
- Persons recovering from alcoholism.