To avoid binge drinking and its consequences, college students (and all people who drink) are advised to track the number of drinks they consume over a given period of time. That is why it is important to know exactly what counts as a drink.
In the United States, a standard drink is one that contains about 14 grams of pure alcohol, which is found in:
12 ounces of beer with 5 percent alcohol content
5 ounces of wine with 12 percent alcohol content
1.5 ounces of distilled spirits with 40 percent alcohol content
Unfortunately, although the “standard” drink amounts are helpful for following health guidelines, they may not reflect customary serving sizes. A large cup of beer, an over poured glass of wine, or a single mixed drink could contain much more alcohol than a standard drink. In addition, while the alcohol concentrations listed are “typical,” there is considerable variability in alcohol content within each type of beverage (e.g., beer, wine, distilled spirits).