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Defining a standard drink

It is important to understand what a standard drink is, so you know how much alcohol you are consuming.

To reduce the risk of harm from alcohol, National Guidelines recommend healthy adults should drink no more than 10 standard drinks in a week and four drinks in one occassion.

In Australia, one standard drink is 10 grams of pure alcohol.

All packaged alcohol is required by law to state on the label the approximate number of standard drinks in one container.

But it can still be hard to estimate standard drinks because:

  • glass sizes vary
  • people share drinks (e.g. jugs, casks or bottles of alcohol)
  • glasses are topped up by other people
  • the composition of mixed drinks is unknown (cocktails or punch).

 

Light beer (2.7% alcohol)

Container Amount Standard drinks
1 middy or pot 285ml 0.5 standard drinks
1 can or stubbie 375ml 0.8 standard drinks

Mid beer (3.5% alcohol)

Container Amount Standard drinks
1 middy or pot 285ml 0.7 standard drinks
1 can or stubbie 375ml 1 standard drink

Regular beer (4.5% alcohol)

Container Amount Standard drinks
1 middy or pot 285ml 1.1 standard drinks
1 can or stubbie 375ml 1.4 standard drinks

Wine (9.5% to 13% alcohol)

Container Amount Standard drinks
1 standard serve 100ml 1 standard drink
1 average serve 150ml 1.6 standard drinks
1 bottle 750ml 7 to 8 standard drinks

Spirits (40% alcohol)

Container Amount Standard drinks
1 nip 30ml 1 standard drink
1 bottle 700ml 22 standard drinks

Cider (4.5% alcohol)

Container Amount Standard drinks
1 bottle 345ml 1.2 standard drinks
1 can 375ml 1.3 standard drinks

Pre-mixed drinks (5% alcohol)

Container Amount Standard drinks
1 can or bottle 375ml 1.5 standard drinks

 


Note: Some cocktails contain more than 3 standard drinks. Source: NHMRC, 2020  

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