Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Summer cocktails mask full amount of alcohol

  • Print

WASHINGTON -- How strong is that pina colada? Depending on how it's made, it could contain as much alcohol as two glasses of wine.

The National Institutes of Health is trying to spread the word: take a look at its online alcohol calculator to see how much you're really drinking with those summer cocktails.

A "standard drink" is the amount of alcohol in a 12-ounce beer, five ounces of wine or 1.5 ounces of distilled spirits. It's a useful way to track alcohol consumption. But the multiple ingredients of mixed drinks make for a harder count.

"Most people don't realize how much alcohol is actually in a drink," said Dr. George Koob, director of the NIH's National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

"Obviously it depends on the bartender and who's mixing the drinks," Koob adds.

Recipes matter: The calculator's pina colada example, for instance, assumes it contains three ounces of rum. Plan on using two ounces instead? The calculator adjusts to show it's like 1.3 standard drinks.

What about a margarita? The calculator concludes it's the equivalent of 1.7 standard drinks, if made with 1.5 ounces of tequila, an ounce of orange liqueur and half an ounce of lime juice.

A mojito equals 1.3 standard drinks. A martini, extra dry? 1.4 standard drinks.

Other favourites? Type them in: http://rethinkingdrinking.niaaa.nih.gov/ToolsResources/CocktailCalcu lator.asp .

Beyond beverage choice, Koob, who specializes in the neurobiology of alcohol, has some tips:

 

Summer heat

Heat increases thirst but alcohol is a diuretic, Koob notes. So in addition to the usual advice to pace yourself -- no more than one standard drink an hour -- Koob says to stay hydrated by alternating some water or club soda with the alcohol.

 

Gender differences

Women's bodies react differently to alcohol, and not just because they tend to weigh less than men. They don't metabolize alcohol as quickly, and their bodies contain less water. On average, it takes one less drink for a woman to become intoxicated than a man of the same weight, Koob said. The NIAAA's definition of low-risk drinking for women is no more than seven drinks a week and no more than three drinks on any single day, while for men the limit is no more than 14 drinks a week and no more than four drinks on any single day.

 

Holding your alcohol

What determines why one drink is plenty for one person while another routinely downs two or three? Genes play a big role. So do environmental factors, such as getting used to drinking a certain amount. That tolerance is a balancing act, Koob says. He cites research showing the person who can drink others under the table is at higher risk for alcohol problems later in life than is someone more sensitive to its effects.


-- The Associated Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 16, 2014 C4

History

Updated on Wednesday, July 16, 2014 at 8:39 AM CDT: adds photo

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Winnipeg Jets Bogosian-Little-Ladd

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A Canada goose makes takes flight on Wilkes Ave Friday afternoon- See Bryksa’s 30 Day goose a day challenge- Day 09- May 11, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • Someone or thing is taking advantage of the inactivity at Kapyong Barracks,hundreds of Canada Geese-See Joe Bryksa’s goose a day for 30 days challenge- Day 15- May 22, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Do you think food-security issues are an important topic to address during this mayoral campaign?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google