Cut down or quit?

What is a unit?

In the UK, one unit of alcohol is defined as 10 millilitres (or approximately 8 grams) of ethanol (ethyl alcohol). This is used as a basis for guidelines on consumption of alcoholic beverages.

The current reccommended guidelines give weekly plus daily limits for alcohol consumption for men and women. Historically only weekly limits were given. This however changed recently owing to concern over the dangers of binge drinking.

The current reccommended guidelines are as follows:
  • men: 21 units per week or 3-4 units per day.
  • women: 14 units per week or 2-3 units per day.
It can however be difficult when trying to calculate the number of units in alcoholic beverages on account of different strengths of alcohol and different measures served. For example, it is now common in UK bars and restaurants to serve wine in 3 different size glasses (i.e. small, standard & large). Each of these, of course, contain a different number of units of alcohol. Add to this the fact that different wines may be different strengths and the picture becomes quite confusing. 

Our Unit Calculator will give you an idea of the number of units in different drinks and assist you in calculating your consumption.