What is a Standard Drink?

The amount of alcohol in beverages varies depending on the type of drink: Beer, Spirits, Wine, and Liquor. Awareness of how much alcohol you consume in one beverage is crucial. A “standard” alcohol drink contains about 14 grams of pure alcohol. So how much alcohol is in each drink?

Standard Drink Size

It is important to note that these measurements are not always reflected in mixed drinks and may have 1-3 times more alcohol content than in one standard drink depending on the type of recipe.

Binge Drinking

Binge drinking means consuming an amount of alcohol within a spam of about 2 hours that spikes blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels to 0.08g/dL or more. For women, this usually occurs after about 4 drinks, and for men, after about 5. 

Binge drinking can put a person's health and safety at risk, including car crashes and injuries. Over the long term, binge drinking can damage the liver and other organs. Binge drinking can lead to alcohol poisoning and in some cases even death. 

Tips for Moderate Drinking

Research shows that people who engage in moderate drinking behavior may be less likely to experience an alcohol use disorder (AUD) as opposed to those who binge or drink in excess. Moderate drinking levels vary from person to person:

Low-risk drinking limits from NIAAA


About 1 in 4 people who drink above these levels already has alcohol dependence or alcohol abuse problems.

 To stay low risk for AUDs, you must keep within both the single-day and weekly limits.

 Even within these limits, you can have problems if you drink too quickly or have other health issues. To keep your risk for problems low, make sure you drink slowly and consume food.

Certain people should avoid alcohol completely, including those who:

  • Are under the age of 21- Underage drinking is illegal
  • Plan to drive a vehicle or operate machinery
  • Take medications that interact with alcohol
  • Have a medical condition that alcohol can aggravate
  • Are pregnant or trying to become pregnant


Additional Resources and Information:

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

Center for Disease Control 

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration 

National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence 

Texas Alcohol Beverage Commission:

Underage Drinking

Driving While Intoxicated (DWI)

Blood Alcohol Concentration

Rise Recovery

Images from https://niaaa.nih.gov/