Although drinking alcohol in moderation can form part of a healthy lifestyle, drinking too much can be harmful. The Department of Health advises that men should not drink more than three to four units of alcohol per day, and women should drink no more than two to three units of alcohol per day.
As a rough guide:
- 1 pint of strong lager = 3 units
- 1 pint of ordinary lager, bitter or cider, 175ml glass of wine = 2 units
- 1 alcopop = 1.5 units
- 1 measure of spirits = 1 unit
You can find out exactly how many units of alcohol are in the bottle by reading the label.
At the start of the year, Alcohol Concern runs the Dry January campaign - read more here.
The abuse of alcohol can lead to a wide range of health problems. In the short term it may cause you to experience drowsiness, tension, dehydration, unconsciousness or even death. In the longer term, it is known to contribute to more serious health problems, including liver damage, cancer and heart disease.
You can find lots more information about sensible drinking, including a drinks tracker, unit calculator, self-assessments tools and tips on cutting down, on the NHS Choices website.