10:30 AM 24th December 2021
Healthy Heart Tips: Mulled Wine & Cider - Counting The Units
Heart Research UK Healthy Heart Tip, written by the Health Promotion and Education Team at Heart Research UK
Studies have shown 61% of the UK’s population over-indulge in alcohol over the festive season, more than they usually do. Drinking too much alcohol can increase your risk of heart disease. How much is too much? How do you know how many units of alcohol you are consuming?
Heart Research UK provide some guidance on understanding alcohol units and keeping track of how much you are drinking this Christmas.
What are alcohol units and ABV?
Alcohol units represent the quantity of pure alcohol contained within an alcoholic drink (1 unit is 10ml of pure alcohol). The number of units of alcohol in your drink depends on the size and the strength of your drink. ABV means ‘alcohol by volume’ and this is a measure of the amount of alcohol as a percentage of the total volume of a drink.
Calculating your units
You can find the ABV on the labels of cans and bottles. To calculate the number of units in a drink, multiply the ABV by the volume (in ml) and divide by 1000. The drinks you pour at home may be larger than the amount measured out in pubs. You could try using a measuring cup when pouring drinks at home so you can keep track of what you are drinking.
1 bottle of wine - 750ml (ABV 13.5%) = 10 units
How much is too much?
1 pint beer / cider - 568ml (ABV 5.2%) = 3 units
1 single spirit - 25ml (ABV 40%) = 1 unit
For men and women, the maximum recommended alcohol units each week is 14, spread over 3 or more days. If you are pregnant, it is recommended that you do not drink alcohol at all.
Try recording how much you are drinking over a week using a diary or alcohol tracker. Drinkaware provide assessment tools that you can use to track the amount you are drinking here. https://www.drinkaware.co.uk/tools
Support for your drinking
If you are worried about how much you, or someone you know, are drinking you can get support here. https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/alcohol-support/
Heart Research UK
Proud to stand out from the crowd, Heart Research UK is the charity dedicated to your heart. They inspire and invest in pioneering medical research, ground-breaking training and education, and in communities to improve their heart health for themselves. For over 50 years they have driven advancements in the prevention, treatment and cure of heart disease to benefit patients as soon as possible.
You can find more healthy tips, recipes and advice at heartresearch.org.uk