reviewed 7/17/2019

Alcohol: What equals 1 drink?

Men aren't supposed to have more than two drinks a day. For women, the limit is one. That's for drinks with 14 grams of pure alcohol. But how much is that really? Take this quiz to see if you know.

Beer: What equals 1 drink?

  • 8 fluid ounces.
  • 12 fluid ounces.
  • 16 fluid ounces.

12 fluid ounces. That's 12 fluid ounces of regular beer—about 5% alcohol. "Light" beer has a lower alcohol content. And some beer may have a higher alcohol content.

Malt liquor: What equals 1 drink?

  • 6 fluid ounces.
  • 8 fluid ounces.
  • 10 fluid ounces.

8 fluid ounces. That's for 8 fluid ounces of malt liquor that contains about 7% alcohol—more than a standard beer.

Wine: What equals 1 drink?

  • 5 fluid ounces.
  • 8 fluid ounces.
  • 10 fluid ounces.

5 fluid ounces. With about 12% alcohol, just 5 fluid ounces of table wine is considered one drink.

Distilled spirits or hard liquor: What equals 1 drink?

  • 1 fluid ounce.
  • 1.5 fluid ounces.
  • 2 fluid ounces.

1.5 fluid ounces. All 80-proof distilled spirits, such as whiskey, gin, rum or vodka, are about 40% alcohol. So it doesn't take much to make one drink—just 1.5 fluid ounces.

Check labels to know how much alcohol you're drinking. Within a two-hour period, consuming five or more drinks (for men) or four or more drinks (for women) is considered binge drinking, which can harm your health. Assessing your drinking habits can help you know if you should cut back. Your doctor can also help.

Assess your drinking habits

Sources: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

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This information is provided for educational purposes only. Individuals should always consult with their healthcare providers regarding medical care or treatment, as recommendations, services or resources are not a substitute for the advice or recommendation of an individual's physician or healthcare provider. Services or treatment options may not be covered under an individual's particular health plan.