Understanding the alcohol lower-risk guidelines
All you really need to do, if you choose to drink, is to stick within the guidelines.
Women: should not regularly* drink more than 2 to 3 units of alcohol a day. That’s a standard 175ml glass of wine (ABV 13%).
Men: should not regularly* drink more than 3 to 4 units of alcohol a day. That’s a pint of strong lager, beer or cider (ABV 6.0%).
* 'Regularly' means drinking this amount most days or every day. ABV is the percentage of alcohol in the drink.
No-one can say that drinking alcohol is absolutely safe, but by keeping within these guidelines, there’s only a low risk of causing harm in most circumstances.
Counting the units
Adding up what you normally drink can really help if you need to cut back. Use our handy Drinks Checker to find out how much you drink.
Units don’t work like reward points
You can’t store them up for a big night out. Drinking large amounts in one go does additional physical damage.
Medical warning: if you have physical withdrawal symptoms (like shaking, sweating or feeling very anxious until you have the first drink of the day), you should take medical advice before stopping completely. It can be dangerous to do this too quickly without proper advice and support.