Are you alcohol aware?

Units and daily guidelines

UK Government guidelines for low risk drinking for adults define ‘a unit’ or ‘drink’ as 8g (1cl) of pure alcohol and recommend that men and women should not drink more than 14 units a week, spread over the week. It’s not healthy to ‘save up’ units and drink heavily at the weekends as binge drinking can lead to health problems and anti-social behaviour. It’s a good idea to have one or two alcohol free nights a week too.

Eating before or while drinking slows down how quickly alcohol is absorbed into the bloodstream and so helps your liver. How alcohol affects you will also depend on your age, size, sex and health as well as how quickly you drink.
Back labels on bottles of alcoholic drinks usually contain information on units to help you keep track, such as the number of units in a glass or the whole container, as well as the alcoholic strength.

There are times when we shouldn’t drink, such as:

  • When planning to drive (and don’t forget the morning after).
  • If operating machinery, using electrical equipment or working at heights, for example.
  • If playing aerobic sport.
  • If on certain medications – Ask your doctor if you are unsure.
  • If pregnant – Alcohol crosses the placenta to the foetus and can lead to birth defects.

Click image to enlarge

Alcohol units table

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