Plan on celebrating the fourth of July with a couple cocktails? The government wants you to know that they might be boozier than you think.
The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism’s “cocktail content calculator” aims to show how your summer drinks are adding up.
“Depending on the recipe, you can have one, two, or more ‘standard’ drinks in one cocktail or mixed drink,” the NIAAA website reads.
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A pina colada, according to the calculator, equates to two "standard" drinks, which the agency defines as “about 0.6 fluid ounces or 14 grams of ‘pure’ alcohol” – the equivalent of 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine or 1.5 ounces of spirits.
Click here to try the calculator.
The NIAAA website can also show you if your drinking pattern is risky. Enter the number of drinks you have in a typical week and on a “typical drinking day,” and you’ll get a readout of how your drinking habits compare to those of other men and women.
“It makes a difference both how much you drink on any day and how often you have a ‘heavy drinking day,’ that is, more than four drinks on any day for men or more than three drinks for women,” the website reads. “The more drinks on any day and the more heavy drinking days over time, the greater the risk—not only for alcoholism and alcohol abuse, but also for other health and personal problems.”
Last week, a study from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that excessive alcohol consumption is the cause of one in 10 deaths in working-age people. That’s eight drinks a week for women and 15 drinks a week for a man.
To drink safely this holiday weekend, the NIAAA recommends pacing yourself with “no more than one standard drink per hour” intermixed with with nonalcoholic "drink spacers.” The agency also recommends that men consume no more than four standard drinks on any day and that women consumer no more than three.