Drinking wine has formed a part of man’s tradition throughout history, and it’s the ideal companion in all types of celebrations. From this, many questions arise that we ask ourselves when it comes to our health, like, what’s the right amount to drink? Or what does “drinking in moderation” mean?

As a way to bring together all of the information when calculating alcohol consumption, the Standard Beverage Unit was created, based on the formula that determines the amount of alcohol consumed. Each unit supposes between 8–13 grams of pure alcohol, because from the health perspective, this has a greater relevance to determine the grams of pure ethyl alcohol consumed, rather than the volume of the alcoholic beverage. Based on this unit, the recommendation for women is to consume no more than 20 grams of alcohol per day, and 30 grams per day for men.  

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So, how do you calculate alcohol consumption?

Alcohol levels are expressed in degrees, and measures the amount of alcohol in 100 cc or, the percentage of alcohol the beverage contains. That means a wine with 13º alcohol has 13cc of alcohol per every 100cc, or 13% pure alcohol.  

In order to calculate the alcohol in grams in an alcoholic beverage, you can multiply the degree of alcohol by the density of the alcohol (0.8).

The formula that we must keep in mind to calculate the grams of alcohol is the following:

Grams of alcohol = volume (expressed in cc) x degree of alcohol x 0.8 The result must then be divided by 100.

Continuing with our example: a wine with 13% alcohol, when we apply the equation (100 x 13 x 0.8) / 100 gives us a result of 10.4 grams of pure alcohol.

This gives us the result that one glass of wine is equal to one Standard Beverage Unit. 

Alcohol consumption in terms of Standard Beverage Unit measuring 

 1 unit of a beverage that contains 10 gr of pure alcohol is the equivalent of:

Guide for low-risk moderate consumption 

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