How much is too much?
How much is too much?
How much do you drink?
Cutting back on booze is good for your health. It can boost energy levels, aid weight loss and improve the quality of your sleep.
More seriously, drinking too much increases your risk of developing health problems such as high blood pressure, liver problems, heart attack and some types of cancer. It’s easy to let drinking sneak up on you and you may be drinking more alcohol than you realise. The below alcohol unit calculator is a useful way to keep track of how much you are drinking and the effect it is having on your body. Give it a try – you may be surprised at the results!
You can reduce your risks by knowing how much alcohol you are drinking and making sure you don’t drink more than the lower risk guidelines.
To keep health risks from alcohol to a low level it is safest not to drink more than 14 units a week on a regular basis. That's around 6 pints of average strength beer or 6 regular glasses of wine.
The new alcohol guidelines explained
The Chief Medical Officers’ guideline for both men and women is that to keep health risks from alcohol to a low level it is safest not to drink more than 14 units a week on a regular basis. If you wish to cut down the amount you drink, a good way to help achieve this is to have several drink-free days each week.
The Chief Medical Officers’ advice for men and women who wish to keep their short term health risks from single occasion drinking episodes to a low level is to reduce them by:
- Limiting the total amount of alcohol you drink on any single occasion;
- Drinking more slowly, drinking with food, and alternating with water
- Planning ahead to avoid problems e.g. by making sure you can get home safely or that you have people you trust with you.
The Chief Medical Officers’ provides further guidelines:
- If you are pregnant or think you could become pregnant, the safest approach is not to drink alcohol at all, to keep risks to your baby to a minimum.
- Drinking in pregnancy can lead to long-term harm to the baby, with the more you drink the greater the risk.
- The risk of harm to the baby is likely to be low if you have drunk only small amounts of alcohol before you knew you were pregnant or during pregnancy.
- If you find out you are pregnant after you have drunk alcohol during early pregnancy, you should avoid further drinking. You should be aware that it is unlikely in most cases that your baby has been affected. If you are worried about alcohol use during pregnancy do talk to your doctor or midwife.
Worried about your drinking?
If you are worried at all about your drinking or are finding it hard to cut down then seek free, confidential advice.
If you are aged 24 or under get in touch with DASH:
Drop into: No Limits City Centre Drop in (at the bottom of the main shopping street, through the bargate, just past East Street), 13 High Street, Southampton, SO14 2DF
If you are aged 25 or over get in touch with the Southampton Drug and Alcohol Recovery Service: