Research shows that drinking and binge drinking by women is increasing. Women who drink have a higher risk of certain alcohol-related problems compared to men. Women should be aware of these health risks and make informed decisions about alcohol use.
Studies show that women start to have alcohol-related problems sooner and at lower drinking levels than men. One reason is, on average, women weigh less than men. Also, alcohol resides predominantly in body water and women have less water in their bodies than men. This means that after a woman and a man of the same weight drink the same amount of alcohol, the woman’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC, the amount of alcohol in the blood) will tend to be higher, putting her at greater risk for harm. Other biological differences may contribute as well.
How Much Is Too Much?
In the United States, a standard drink is one that contains about 14 grams (0.6 fluid ounces) of “pure” alcohol, which is found in:
- 12 ounces of beer with about 5 percent alcohol content
- 5 ounces of wine with about 12 percent alcohol content
- 1.5 ounces of distilled spirits with about 40 percent alcohol content
The percent of pure alcohol varies within and across beverage types. 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.
Supporting data from National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, June 2017.
by Annmarie Dallao
ARCpoint Labs of Reading