Q. What is a safe amount to drink?
A. There is no such a thing as a "safe" level of drinking, there is only a "low risk" level of drinking. To keep health risks from drinking alcohol to a low level you should not be regularly drinking more than 14 units per week – which is equivalent to a bottle and a half of table wine or five pints of export-type lager (5% abv) and you should always have at least 2 days per week alcohol free – this applies to both men and women.
Q. Are some drinks more dangerous than others?
A. Some drinks have a higher alcohol content than others – this is measured in alcohol by volume (ABV) and shown as a % of total volume in a bottle or can.
Q. What’s in my drink?
A. One unit is about 10ml of pure alcohol – that’s half a pint of ordinary strength beer, lager or cider (3-4% abv) or a small pub measure of spirits or a small glass of wine. There are 28 units in a bottle of spirits; 9 units in a bottle of ordinary strength wine and 2 units in a can of lager.
Q. How many calories are in my drink?
A. That depends on the drink – a glass of wine is about the same as a packet of crisps while a pint of lager is about the same as a slice of pizza.
Q. What is binge drinking?
A. Binge drinkers don’t drink every day but drink more than the recommended daily amount in one session – often at the weekend. It is not just young people who are at risk of binge drinking, many people having half a bottle of wine after work or a few pints watching the football are also binge drinking.
Q. What should I do if I think I’m drinking too much?
A. Keep a note of how much you drink in a week - if it’s over the recommended amount try to gradually reduce it, include some alcohol free days. If you are drinking over 51 units a week (that’s 25 pints of ordinary strength beer or 5.5 bottles of wine) you may need to speak to your GP first. For further information, please see here