Do you drink alcohol? Do you drink much alcohol?, Beer or Wine?
According to the report of the World Health Organization (WHO), overall alcohol consumption is decreasing. That does not mean, that the current numbers are still too high. Especially a high consumption is dangerous for the health. But the development of the numbers is showing a trend: Fewer litres drank, but with higher quality. This is also what we set as our goal in our shop on Whisky.de. But what does that mean for each type of alcohol? We have to look into this matter a little bit more.
As mentioned, the WHO published a study in which the average litres of pure alcohol per head in 2016 in each country was shown. To see the difference we picked some numbers:
- (1.) Republic of Moldova / 15.2 l
- (2.) Lithuania / 15 l
- (3.) Czech Republic / 14.4 l
- (5.) Germany / 13.4 l
- (6.) Ireland / 13 l
- (16.) Russia 11.7 l
- (23.) UK 11.4 l
- (43.) USA 9.8 l
Those numbers show the average of pure alcohol consumed by every citizen (from theof 15). Therefore this number is not showing a real picture (a 70-year-old female is most likely not drinking the same amount as a 25-year-old male). Additionally, not every alcohol is the same. When we see those numbers, we have to separate the types of alcohol. Schnapps has a higher percentage of alcohol than beer. So when we say that 1 litre of pure alcohol was consumed, this means way fewer bottles of Schnapps than bottles of beer.
In the USA in 2016 the 9.8 litres are composed of three parts: 47% Beer (4,61 litres), 35% Spirits (3,43 litres) and 18% Wine (1,76 litres).
If we calculate with the average alcohol percentage of each type of beverage, this results in:
- Beer: 4,61 litres pure alcohol with an average 5% alcohol volume = 92,2 litres
- Spirit: 3,43 litres pure alcohol with an average 45% alcohol volume = 7,62 litres
- Wine: 1,76 litres pure alcohol with an average 12% alcohol volume = 14,67 litres
Beer is the biggest part of consumed alcoholic beverages. If we take the yearly 92.2 litres per head, that means that every citizen of the USA is statistically drinking 259.72 bottles of Beer in one year. (average bottle with 355 ml). In comparison to Spirit with 10.89 bottles (average bottle with 700 ml) and Wine with 19.56 bottles (average bottle with 750 ml), this is way more. If we want to lower the overall consumption, Beer should be the first matter to approach.
But what is our personal average alcohol consumption? Let’s compare the Whisky because they have a lower alcohol percentage and therefore drink more. But as we can see in the example, the amount of one average drinking session is not comparable. Wine is the highest with 9 cl pure alcohol and Whisky is the lowest with 4.8 cl.of each type of drink in one exaggerated sitting. If we are ‘very thirsty’, we drink three doubled Whiskies, where one has 4 cl with 1.6 cl pure alcohol. We would drink 12 cl = 4.8 cl pure alcohol. That is a lot. How about Wine? Red Wine has an average of 12% alcohol volume. If we drink one bottle of Red Wine (again, a little bit exaggerated) we would drink 75 cl = 9 cl pure alcohol. That is way more than the three doubled Whiskies. Even if we drink four Beers, with 5%, we still consume 142 cl = 7.1 cl pure alcohol. Often times we think that Beer and Wine are not as bad as Spirits like
We see that not only the type of drink we enjoy matters but that the amount is also, if not more, important.
In the ‘2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans’ the citizens are advised to drink nothing, or in moderation. Moderation is described further as ‘two drinks or less’ in a day for men and ‘one drink or less’ in a day for women. The recommendation for each type of drink are as follows:
- Beer (5% ABV) 12 ounces / 340 gr / 340 ml = ca. 1 bottle
- Wine (12% ABV) 5 ounces / 141.8 gr / 148.9 ml = ¾ Wine glass (200 ml)
- Distilled Spirits, like Whisky (40% ABV) 1.5 ounces / 42.5 gr / 21.9 ml = 2.19 cl
hose numbers are way below the example we showed. And for a good reason: alcohol is a drug that is scientifically proven to damage ourand mind. If we enjoy only a little bit, however, it can reduce the risk of some types of cancer. But besides all of the health-related matters, alcohol has a high addiction factor. It doesn’t depend on the amount but on the sensitivity of each person. Some may develop an addiction after few drinks, while some never get addicted even after a few binge drinking sessions. It is important to always keep oneself in check and reflect the own consumption.
We and our platform advise the careful consumption of little quantities with high-quality Spirits. For more information on alcohol & health visit this page.