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reviewed 9/6/2018

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 percent 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 percent 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 percent 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 percent 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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