Drinking alcohol safely

If you drink alcohol, it’s important to stay within the government’s recommended guidelines to help protect your health and wellbeing.

Responsible drinking – know your limits

Alcohol units are a handy way to help you drink responsibly and measure the quantity of pure alcohol in a drink. One unit equals 10ml or 8g of pure alcohol, which is roughly the amount an adult can process in an hour.
Read the NHS guide to alcohol units

How much should I drink?

Adult men should drink no more than 3-4 units of alcohol per day, while women should drink no more than 2-3 units a day.

How many units am I drinking?

This quick guide shows the number of units in some common alcoholic drinks:

  • One pint of beer or lager (4% ABV) = 2.3 units
  • One pint of cider (4.5% ABV) = 2.6 units
  • 25ml pub measure of spirits (40% ABV) = 1 unit
  • 175ml glass of wine (12.5% ABV) = 2.2 units
  • 275ml of an alcopop (5.0% ABV) = 1.4 units

Try the alcohol unit calculator

More useful tips & advice on drinking alcohol

Reading the alcohol label

Sainsbury's alcohol label

All our alcoholic food and drink products are clearly marked with an easy-to-read label, which tells you how many units your drink contains per glass or bottle.

We label energy (in calories and kilojoules) on all our own-brand beers, wines and spirits, which can be useful if you’re following a calorie-controlled diet.

More about Sainsbury’s nutritional labelling

Did you know…

  1. For health reasons, it’s a good idea to spread your drinking over the week, and avoid binge drinking.
  2. If you do drink too much in one day, avoid alcohol for at least 48 hours afterwards. This will give your body a chance to recover.
  3. Avoid drinking alcohol altogether if you’re pregnant or trying to conceive.