How many units of alcohol do I drink?

It can be tricky to work out the number of units in an alcoholic drink. We’ve made it easier.


Counting the units of alcohol in your drink can be a useful way to understand how much you’re drinking. The recommended maximum number of units per week for both men and women is 14. That is about the same as six pints of beer or seven glasses of wine. But it can be challenging to know how many units you’re consuming, so we’ve made this handy table to help you keep an eye on your alcohol consumption.


How to calculate the number of units in alcohol

The values in the table are approximated; if you want to be more accurate, there is also an equation you can use to calculate the alcohol content in a specific drink. The alcohol content is measured in ABV - alcohol by volume. ABV measures the amount of pure alcohol as a percentage of the size of your drink. The ABV is usually given as a percentage on the bottle label, but can also be written as ‘vol’ or ‘volume’. If you’re drinking at a bar or restaurant, you can ask the bartender to check the alcohol content for you.

To work out the number of units in a drink, you should multiply the total volume of the drink (in ml) by its ABV (as a percentage) and divide the result by 1000. So the equation is:

Units = (strength (ABV) x volume (ml)) ÷ 1000

For example, a large glass of wine is approximately 250ml. Red wine has an ABV of 12%. Therefore: (12 x 250) ÷ 1000 = 3 units.

So we can work out that the glass of red wine contained three units. 



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