Understanding Alcohol units

Knowing your units helps you stay in control of your drinking.

Here’s how to keep the health risks from alcohol to a low level if you drink most weeks:

  • men and women are advised not to drink more than 14 units a week regularly
  • spread your drinking over 3 or more days if you regularly drink as much as 14 units a week

Alcohol has a wide range of health impacts including liver disease, cardiovascular disease, cancers (breast, bowel, throat and mouth). Regularly drinking more than the above increases the risk of ill health from drinking alcohol.

A unit of alcohol can be calculated using the following formula:
[Volume (mls) x Alcohol by Volume ABV (%)] / 1000
For example, 250ml of 12% ABV wine will be: [250 x 12 = 3000] / 1000 = 3 units.