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How Much Alcohol In Your Drink? Stronger Beverages Make It Tough to Tell

A glass of wine at a restaurant may be 50 percent more potent than you think, experts warn

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Taken together, these examples suggest that Americans need better guidance about healthy drinking, said Robert Pandina, director of the Rutgers Center of Alcohol Studies, in Piscataway, N.J.

"The dietary guidelines aren't very useful," said Pandina, who was not involved in the report. "They don't parallel the drinking habits of the American public."

So what can you do if you're trying to moderate the amount of alcohol you drink?

In some situations, careful label reading and measuring will help ensure you don't overdo it.

"For home drinks, you should know what you're drinking," report author Kerr said. "You don't have to measure every time, but if you're going to be drinking out of the same wine glass, measure a couple of times so you know what a standard drink looks like."

"[At bars and restaurants], you should assume that poured drinks are more like one-and-a-half standard drinks" and maybe even more for mixed cocktails such as martinis and Long Island iced teas, he said.

If you're ordering beer, a little homework ahead of time can help you find out how strong your preferred brand is.

Then the trick is sticking to the limit you set for yourself.

"There's an old Native American expression, 'A man takes a drink. A drink takes a drink. Then the drink takes the man," Pandina said. The more you've had to drink, the easier it is to lose track of how much you've had.

Once you've hit your max, switch to water or something nonalcoholic to make sure you stay in control.

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