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Balancing a healthy lifestyle

Everything in moderation is a popular approach to life these days and it’s a good way to keep your health and wellbeing on the right track.

Sensible, responsible drinking means you can enjoy a drink in the pub or at home, just keep an eye on how many units you are drinking throughout the week.

UK government advice is simple:

  • To keep health risks associated with alcohol at a low level, men and women shouldn’t drink more than 14 units a week on a regular basis.
  • Spread your drinking evenly over three or more days
  • And try to have several alcohol-free days each week.

How many units are in my drink?

It can be tricky counting units when there’s such a great range of drinks in different strengths and measures. Don’t just count pints or glasses, keep an eye on the ABV of the drink and the amount you are having.

Free pouring at home can make it harder to keep track of your units so try not to be too heavy handed. Pubs use measures so it’s easier to keep track of how much alcohol you have when you are out.

Here’s a guide to help: (source: NHS)

 Type of drink Number of Alcohol Units
  Single small shot of spirits* (25ml, ABV 40%)
  1 unit
  Alcopop (275ml, ABV 5.5%)
  1.5 units
  Small glass of red/white/rosé wine (125ml, ABV 12%)
  1.5 units
  Bottle of lager/beer/cider (330ml, ABV 5%)
  1.7 units
  Can of lager/beer/cider (440ml, ABV 5.5%)
  2 units
  Pint pf lower-strength lager/beer/cider (ABV 3.6%)
  2 units
  Standard glass of red/white/rosé wine (175ml, ABV 12%)
  2.1 units
  Pint of higher-strength lager/beer/cider (ABV 5.2%)
  3 units
  Large glass of red/white/rosé wine (250ml, ABV 12%)
  3 units
*Gin, rum, vodka, whisky, tequila, sambuca. Large (35ml) single measures of spirits are 1.4 units.


The science behind this is based on: One unit equals 10ml or 8g of pure alcohol.

The ABV is the amount of pure alcohol as a percentage of the total volume of liquid in the drink.


To find out more about responsible drinking and alcohol units, go to:

Alcohol consumption: advice on low risk drinking - GOV.UK

Alcohol units - NHS