Alcohol Units

The NHS has recommendations that:

  • Men should not regularly drink more than 3 to 4 units of alcohol daily.
  • Women should not regularly drink more than 2 to 3 units of alcohol daily.

Unit Calculator

It is also vital that you allow your body a 48 hour period of time between drinking for it to recover.
Pregnant women or women who are attempting to conceive ought to avoid drinking alcohol altogther.

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) recommends women avoid alcohol in the first three months of pregnancy in particular, as there is an increased risk of miscarriage during this period of time.

The NHS daily limits specified above means you cannot add up store up your whole week’s ‘allowance’ until the weekend and then drink heavily/binge drink.

Women’s limits are lower as women’s bodies have a higher ratio of fat to water than men, hence they are less able to dilute alcohol in the body. Women do not process alcohol as effectively as men.

The table below provides you with an idea of the number of units in different drinks, based on typical alcoholic strengths. To get the exact number, where this is not spelled out in units on the drink’s container, you’ll need to know a drink’s percentage alcohol by volume(%ABV), as different brands may be stronger or weaker.

You are able to find this information on the labels of cans and bottles. Alternatively, you can ask bar staff. This way you can keep count and know your units when you’re out drinking.

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Lager, Beer, & Cider
Bottle (330ml)
Can (440ml)
Pint (568ml)
0.7 units
0.9 units
1.1 units
2 units
1.3 units
1.8 units
2.3 units
4 units
1.7 units
2.2 units
2.8 units
5 units
2 units
2.6 units
3.4 units
6 units
3 units
4 units
5.1 units
9 units

Bottle (275ml)
1.4 units

Spirits – Rum, Gin, Vodka & Whiskey
Small Measure (25ml)
Large Measure (35ml)
Small Double Measure (50ml)
Large Double Measure (70ml)
38 – 40%
1 unit
1.4 units
1.9 – 2 units
2.7 – 2.8 units

Shots – Tequila & Sambuca
Small Measure (25ml)
Large Measure (35ml)
38 – 40%
1 unit
1.4 units

Wine & Champagne
Small Glass (125ml)
Standard Glass (175ml)
Large Glass (250ml)
1.25 unit
1.75 units
2.5 units
7.5 units
1.4 unit
1.9 units
2.8 units
8.3 units
1.5 unit
2.1 units
3 units
9 units
1.6 unit
2.3 units
3.3 units
9.8 units
1.75 unit
2.5 units
3.5 units
10.5 units

Fortified Wine – Sherry & Port
Standard Measure (50ml)
17.5 – 20%
0.9 – 1 unit

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