NHS and UK Chief Medical Officers’ advice on units and drinking guidelines
What is a unit and how much is too much?
A pint of lower strength (4%) lager, beer or cider
A pint of medium strength (5%) lager, beer or cider
A 440ml can of medium strength (5%) lager, beer or cider
A 500ml can of high strength (7.5-9%) lager, beer or cider
A small bottle (275ml) of lower strength (4%) alcopop
A large bottle (700ml) of higher strength (5%) alcopop
A single measure of spirit (40%)
A double measure of spirit (40%)
A standard glass (175ml) of lower strength (12%) wine or champagne
A small glass (125ml) of higher strength (14.5%) wine or champagne
A large glass (250ml) of lower strength (12%) wine
|Men & Women|
|Should not drink more than 14 units a week|
|If adults do drink as much as 14 units per week, it is best to spread this evenly over 3 days or more.|
Units and guidelines are OK to remember, once you’ve got your head round them –
remember they only apply to people over 18, who are healthy.
There are times when adults shouldn’t drink at all too, such as when planning to drive, when pregnant, when on certain medications, doing a responsible or dangerous job(s) or sports for example
PDF version of this fact sheet: What is a unit and how much is too much?
- Children and their parents and carers are advised that an alcohol-free childhood is the healthiest and best option. However, if children drink alcohol, it should not be until at least the age of 15 years.
- If young people aged 15 to 17 years consume alcohol it should always be with the guidance of a parent or carer or in a supervised environment.
- Parents and young people should be aware that drinking, even at age 15 or older, can be hazardous to health and that not drinking is the healthiest option for young people. If 15 to 17 year-olds do consume alcohol they should do so infrequently and certainly on no more than one day a week. Young people aged 15 to 17 years should never exceed recommended Government guidelines.