How much alcohol is too much?

Learn more about the recommended alcohol limits and about binge drinking.

How much is it safe to drink?

What are the recommended limits? 

There is no recommended limit for young people under the age of 18. Teenagers are still growing and developing so medical experts say that it is better not to drink alcohol.

For people over the age of 18, NHS Health Scotland advise that:

  • Females shouldn't drink more than 2-3 units per day.
  • Males shouldn’t drink more than 3-4 units per day.

These figures can only be used as a rough guide. Your actual body size, gender, the speed at which you drink, what you eat, age . . . all affect the way you absorb alcohol and the effect it has on your body.

What are the effects of drinking too much? 

Drinking too much alcohol can affect your appearance and your health so it’s important to stick within the daily amount recommended by health experts. 

Alcohol can be fattening, can affect your appearance by adding weight, and dehydrate your skin, making it look pale and tired.

Alcohol can also have a long term affect on your health and lead to addiction, depression and heart disease.

What is binge drinking? 

Binge drinking is when you drink a huge amount of alcohol in a short space of time.

The amount of alcohol that counts as a binge is lower than people tend to think. NHS Health Scotland say that drinking more than eight units in one night for men, and six units for women is binge drinking. Doing this on a regular basis damages your body.

More help & information 

Drinkline - If you want to speak to someone about your own drinking, call Drinkline on 0800 7 314 314 (24hrs).

Al-anon- Support for the families affected by someone else's alcohol problems.

AlcolatorIf you're worried about someone else's drinking or your own then you can get information here. If you live in Greater Glasgow and Clyde you can arrange an appointment with someone to get support with your drinking.

Talk to FrankFind out more about the effects of alcohol, the risks and the law.