What are units of alcohol?

What are units of alcohol?

Units are confusing and you might be thinking I don’t really care about units in my
drinks. Well if you are under 18 there are no guidelines for you to follow, but this
information might help you when you get old, it’s like that Science stuff you learn at
school which you think you will never need to know!
You can work out how many units there are in any drink by multiplying the total volume of a
drink (in ml) by its ABV (which is measured as a percentage) and dividing the
result by 1,000. See you are even doing Math’s revision!

Strength (ABV) x Volume (ml) ÷ 1,000 = units.

For example, to work out the number of units in a pint (568ml) of strong lager (ABV
5.2%):

5.2 (%) x 568 (ml) ÷ 1,000 = 2.95 units

The NHS recommends for 18 years and older that,

  • Men should not regularly drink more than 3-4 units of alcohol a day.
  • Women should not regularly drink more than 2-3 units a day.
  • If you’ve had a heavy drinking session, avoid alcohol for 48 hours.

‘Regularly’ means drinking this amount every day or most days of the week.