How Much Alcohol Is There in a ‘Standard’ Drink? These 11 Countries Disagree

American guidelines define one drink as a serving containing 14 grams of ethanol; that definition is certainly not universal
beer wine

Photo Modified: Flickr / julie corsi / CC BY 4.0

While these drinks may look normally sized to you, other countries may find them too large or too small.

Drinking a moderate amount of alcohol is something that can fit into many healthy lifestyles, and that moderate amount is usually defined as one or two drinks daily. Not all beverages are created equal, but if you stick to a properly portioned standard drink you certainly won’t ruin your health. On the contrary, moderate alcohol consumption is believed to inspire some positive side effects. Some of these healthy alcohol attributes are featured in our story covering how to incorporate beer into a healthy diet.

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The 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans discuss alcohol consumption, stating that women can enjoy one standard drink daily while men can enjoy two. The National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism lists a standard drink as 12 ounces of beer (roughly five percent ABV), five ounces of wine (at about 12 percent ABV), or 1.5 ounces of 80-proof distilled spirits. These drinks all contain 14 grams of pure alcohol (ethanol). For men, that’s a daily total of 28 grams of alcohol, while women can have up to 14 grams per day. With that being said, it’s obvious that consuming more than these suggested quantities could be detrimental for your health and your waistline. Sounds simple enough, doesn’t it?

If you’re an American, everything covered so far was just a review. You probably don’t always adhere to these guidelines, and if you have a soft spot for LITs then you may choose to simply ignore American standard drink guidelines.

Here’s Everything You Need to Know About Long Island Iced Tea.

Outside of the United States, however, standard sizes of alcoholic beverages tend to vary. One drink equaling 14 grams of ethanol isn’t an idea accepted worldwide. In fact, the World Health Organization says that a standard drink should be slightly less boozy, containing just 10 grams of alcohol. The Philippines, Chile, Grenada, and Mexico, however, agree that 14 grams is standard. In some places, there’s no debate about a standard serving size; alcohol is illegal in these 10 countries.

What about others? You may be surprised to see the size of some of the “standard” drinks enjoyed in other countries. Follow the jump for our slideshow on How Much Alcohol Is in a ‘Standard’ Drink? These 11 Countries Disagree.

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