Drinking alcohol

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Having ‘one standard drink’ of alcohol isn’t as simple as you might think. Different alcoholic drinks have different strengths. The amount of alcohol in any beverage depends on the way they were made, so they can vary significantly. For example, some beer can be as strong as wine, so it’s important to check product labels for more information.

We recommend that healthy men and women drink no more than two standard alcoholic drinks a day. If you have high blood pressure, heart failure, cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease, liver disease or diabetes, or if you are obese, you may need to drink less than the above-recommended limits.

Alcohol causes high triglycerides and low HDL cholesterol. Talk to your doctor to find out what is right for you.

Tips to lower your alcohol intake

  • Alternate your alcoholic drinks with low kilojoule drinks, such as tap water or plain mineral water.
  • Dilute your alcoholic drinks with tap water or plain mineral water when you can.
  • Use only half-measures of spirits.
  • Choose a low alcohol or light beer.
  • Choose a low alcohol wine.
  • When you are thirsty, drink cold water instead of alcohol. Keep a jug of water on the table with your meals.

What’s a standard drink?

A standard drink is a unit of measurement. In Australia, a standard drink is any drink containing 10 grams of alcohol. One standard drink always contains the same amount of alcohol, regardless of container size or alcohol type (beer, wine, or spirit). 

1

375ml
Mid Strength
3.5% Alc. Vol

1

100ml
Standard Serve of Red Wine
13.5% Alc. Vol

(Above) Examples of a standard drink. Note: options in the table vary depending on the amount (mL) and alcoholic strength. 

Standard drink measures

Number of standard drinks - Beer

  • Full Strength
    1.1 285ml
    Full Strength
    4.8% Alc. Vol
  • Mid Strength
    0.8 285ml
    Mid Strength
    3.5% Alc. Vol
  • Low Strength
    0.6 285ml
    Low Strength
    2.7% Alc. Vol
  • Full Strength
    1.6 425ml
    Full Strength
    4.8% Alc. Vol
  • Mid Strength
    1.2 425ml
    Mid Strength
    3.5% Alc. Vol
  • Low Strength
    0.9 425ml
    Low Strength
    2.7% Alc. Vol
  • Full Strength
    1.4 375ml
    Full Strength
    4.8% Alc. Vol
  • Mid Strength
    1 375ml
    Mid Strength
    3.5% Alc. Vol
  • Low Strength
    0.8 375ml
    Low Strength
    2.7% Alc. Vol
  • Full Strength
    1.4 375ml
    Full Strength
    4.8% Alc. Vol
  • Mid Strength
    1 375ml
    Mid Strength
    3.5% Alc. Vol
  • Low Strength
    0.8 375ml
    Low Strength
    2.7% Alc. Vol
  • Full Strength
    34 24 x 375ml
    Full Strength
    4.8% Alc. Vol
  • Mid Strength
    24 24 x 375ml
    Mid Strength
    3.5% Alc. Vol
  • Low Strength
    19 24 x 375ml
    Low Strength
    2.7% Alc. Vol

Number of standard drinks - Wine

  • Average Restaurant Serving of Red Wine
    1.6 150ml
    Average Restaurant Serving of Red Wine
    13.5% Alc. Vol
  • Standard Serve of Red Wine
    1 100ml
    Standard Serve of Red Wine
    13.5% Alc. Vol
  • Standard Serve of Port
    0.9 60ml
    Standard Serve of Port
    18% Alc. Vol
  • Average Restaurant Serving of White Wine
    1.4 150ml
    Average Restaurant Serving of White Wine
    11.5% Alc. Vol
  • Standard Serve of White Wine
    1 100ml
    Standard Serve of White Wine
    11.5% Alc. Vol
  • Average Restaurant Serving of Champagne
    1.4 150ml
    Average Restaurant Serving of Champagne
    12% Alc. Vol
  • Bottle of Champagne
    7.5 750ml
    Bottle of Champagne
    12.5% Alc. Vol
  • Bottle of Red Wine
    8 750ml
    Bottle of Red Wine
    13.5% Alc. Vol
  • Cask Red Wine
    43 4Litres
    Cask Red Wine
    13.5% Alc. Vol
  • Cask Red Wine
    21 2Litres
    Cask Red Wine
    13.5% Alc. Vol
  • Bottle of White Wine
    7.5 750ml
    Bottle of White Wine
    12.5% Alc. Vol
  • Cask White Wine
    39 4Litres
    Cask White Wine
    12.5% Alc. Vol
  • Cask White Wine
    19.5 2Litres
    Cask White Wine
    12.5% Alc. Vol
  • Cask of Port
    28 2Litres
    Cask of Port
    17.5% Alc. Vol

Number of Standard Drinks - Spirits

  • High Strength Spirit Nip
    1 30ml
    High Strength Spirit Nip
    40% Alc. Vol
  • High Strength Bottle of Spirits
    22 700ml
    High Strength Bottle of Spirits
    40% Alc. Vol
  • Full Strength ready-to-drink
    1.1 275ml
    Full Strength ready-to-drink
    5% Alc. Vol
  • Full Strength ready-to-drink
    1.2 330ml
    Full Strength ready-to-drink
    5% Alc. Vol
  • Full Strength ready-to-drink
    2.6 660ml
    Full Strength ready-to-drink
    5% Alc. Vol
  • High Strength ready-to-drink
    1.5 275ml
    High Strength ready-to-drink
    7% Alc. Vol
  • High Strength ready-to-drink
    1.8 330ml
    High Strength ready-to-drink
    7% Alc. Vol
  • High Strength ready-to-drink
    3.6 660ml
    High Strength ready-to-drink
    7% Alc. Vol
  • Full Strength Pre-mix Spirits
    1 250ml
    Full Strength Pre-mix Spirits
    5% Alc. Vol
  • Full Strength Pre-mix Spirits
    1.2 300ml
    Full Strength Pre-mix Spirits
    5% Alc. Vol
  • Full Strength Pre-mix Spirits
    1.5 375ml
    Full Strength Pre-mix Spirits
    5% Alc. Vol
  • Full Strength Pre-mix Spirits
    1.7 440ml
    Full Strength Pre-mix Spirits
    5% Alc. Vol
  • High Strength Pre-mix Spirits
    1.4 - 1.9 250ml
    High Strength Pre-mix Spirits
    7 - 10% Alc. Vol
  • High Strength Pre-mix Spirits
    1.6 300ml
    High Strength Pre-mix Spirits
    7% Alc. Vol
  • High Strength Pre-mix Spirits
    2.1 375ml
    High Strength Pre-mix Spirits
    7% Alc. Vol
  • High Strength Pre-mix Spirits
    2.4 440ml
    High Strength Pre-mix Spirits
    7% Alc. Vol

Reproduced with permission: National Health and Medical Research Council.

Learn how to maintain a healthy weight and keep physically active

Get specialist information about diets and meals for heart attack survivors

Need to cut down?

Cutting down on alcohol is easier when you have a plan. Use this action plan designed for heart attack survivors to help you.