Working out how much alcohol you drink might seem straight forward. You might think it’s just a case of counting how many alco-pops, swigs of cider or shots of apple sours you’ve had. Well there’s actually a bit more to it than that.
The amount of alcohol is different for each type of drink and it depends on how much pure alcohol it contains. The strength of drinks are shown as a percentage of alcohol (usually shown on the side of the bottle or can as ABV). This shows the amount of pure alcohol there is compared with the total volume of liquid. For example ABV 12% means that out of the total drink, 12% of the liquid is pure alcohol.
Alcohol strength is measured in units. One unit is 10ml of pure alcohol. So the more units, the stronger the drink is.
- 1 small glass of wine (125ml, ABV 12%): 1.5 units
- 1 standard glass of wine (175ml, ABV 12%): 2.1 units
- 1 large glass of wine (250ml, ABV 12%): 3 units
- 1 pint of lower strength lager/beer/cider (ABV 3.6%): 2 units
- 1 pint of higher strength lager/beer cider (ABV 5.2 %): 3 units
- 1 bottle of lager/beer/cider (330ml, ABV 5%): 1.7 units
- 1 can of lager/beer/cider (440ml, ABV 5%): 2 units
- 1 alcopop (275 ml, ABV 5.5%): 1.5 units
- 1 small shot of spirits (25ml, ABV 40%): 1 unit
- 1 large shot of spirits (35ml, ABV 40%): 1.4 units
How many units did you drink?
Drinkaware have a handy unit calculator that tells you how many units you drank last night. It can also tell you how many calories you drank and how much exercise you will need to burn it off!
More help and 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.
Alcolator- If 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 Frank- Find out more about the effects of alcohol, the risks and the law.