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According to Roy Morgan Liquor Currency Report (Australia), October 2015-September 2016, 69.6% Australian adults consume at least 1 alcoholic drink per month and we’re choosing wine over beer. The most recent ABS data for long term consumption trends in Australia show a 50 years low in our annual pure alcohol consumption per capita sitting at 9.7L in 2013-14. That’s 784 standard drinks per year, 264 drinks more than the National recommendation!

It’s no hidden fact that Australia has a strong drinking culture. You only have to take a trip to the footy or cricket to confirm that. But the way we buy alcohol isn’t in a ‘standard’ form, with different sized glasses, bottles and fill lines that make judging our intake difficult from venue to venue. So we thought it was time to take a look into what a standard drink actually is and see what the recommendation allows for.

 

The definition of one standard drink comes down to the amount of alcohol it contains. 10g of alcohol is one standard drink. With a National Recommendation of 1-2 standard drinks per day and 2 alcohol free days per week, it’s important you get to know your serve sizes.

standard drinks-1

Source: Australian Government Department of Health, Standard Drinks Guide (Sept 2010), http://www.alcohol.gov.au

standard drinks-2

Source: Australian Government Department of Health, Standard Drinks Guide (Sept 2010), http://www.alcohol.gov.au

standard drinks-3

Source: Australian Government Department of Health, Standard Drinks Guide (Sept 2010), http://www.alcohol.gov.au

 

Common drinks consumed by Australians are beer and wine with a more recent growth in cider. When purchasing on-tap, a schooner (425ml) is the usual size purchased for both beer and cider. As full strength (~4.8% alcohol), one schooner of the golden bubbles provides close to 20g alcohol or up to 2 standard drinks. To drink a quota of 1 standard drink per drink you purchase, low strength is the way to go. This will help you monitor your intake.

 

Wine glasses can vary when out and about, as can the pour size.  An average wine pour at a restaurant or bar ranges from 150-180ml. Champagne flutes vary less with an average 150ml per glass. Wine varieties vary in the % alcohol and this will determine the number of drinks in the glass you have been poured. In general, based on the % alcohol from highest to lowest it goes:

  1. Red wine – ~12-13%
  2. Champagne – ~12%
  3. White wine – ~11%

An easy guide to a bottle of wine – ~7 standard drinks.

 

One standard drink of ~12% alcohol wine is ~100 ml. This means each glass of wine you purchase contains ~1.5-1.8 standard drinks.

 

As for spirits, on average the % alcohol is ~30-40%. One single nip of 30 ml is one standard drink. This is the standard volume dispensed in Australia for a single drink. Adding this to a mixer like soda water can increase the volume and help you manage your intake. One thing alcohol does do is add extra energy without any nutrients. The above featured picture is a guide to exercises and time to burn off the calories from your drinks:

 

When deciding to drink, think about moderation and which drink will help you manage your intake. Each standard drink will provide roughly the same amount of energy but its about how much you will drink over the course of your night or day out that will determine the better choice for you.

 

Drink responsibly, not every day and in amounts where you can manage and monitor your intake.

 

Written by

Jennifer Madz, Senior Dietitian

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