Alcohol Units, Limits Imposed and Why

Limits and guidelines have been introduced to guide people on how much and what they should drink. It is suggested that men must drink less than 21 units of alcohol in a week. Less than four units per day. Women are guided to have less than men with 14 units of alcohol per week. Drinking less than three units in a single day. Both men and women are suggested to have 2 alcohol free days at least a week. Pregnant women are given completely different guidelines due to the effects that alcohol has on the fetus.

The Department of Health advises that women who are pregnant or who are trying to get pregnant should try and abstain from alcohol completely. Nevertheless if they do decide to drink alcohol. In order to reduce the risks as much as possible they must not drink any more than 1 or 2 units of alcohol more than twice a week and most definitely not get drunk.

Alcohol Units

A single unit of alcohol is 10ml or 8g of pure alcohol. People do not drink pure alcohol and thus can often get confused or not fully understand what one unit is in terms of their favourite beverage. One unit of alcohol is half a pint of ordinary strength beer, lager or cider. Aa small pub measure (25 ml) of spirits averaging 40% in strength. A standard pub measure (50 ml) of fortified wine such as sherry or port about 25% strength. A small glass of wine about 125ml averaging 12% strength contains 1.5 units of alcohol, as does a standard pub measure (35ml) of spirits averaging 40% strength.

Different Strengths

However, different drinks even of the same type have different strengths, most notably wines. Nowadays wines are much stronger than they traditionally used to be. Therefore, a more efficient way in which one can figure out the units being consumed is by knowing the percentage alcohol by volume of a drink is the same as the number of units in one litre of the named drink. Such as a 14% wine  have 14 units per litre. If an individual drinks half a litre of wine (500ml or 4 small glasses of wine) they are consuming 7 units.

Need to Let the Body Recuperate

If an individual does end up drinking more than the recommended units. They must follow this by 48 hours of absolutely no drinking in order to allow one’s body to recuperate. The Royal College of Physicians (RCP) advise three days of non-alcohol as … “in addition to quantity, safe alcohol limits must also take into account frequency. There is an increased risk of liver disease for those who drink daily or near daily compared with those who drink periodically or intermittently.”

Detrimental to Ones Health

However, a few studies have actually shown that consuming say 1 unit a day for men or women can actually decrease certain cancers of ailments. Nevertheless, these seem to be significantly outweighed by the overriding data that shows how detrimental sustained drinking is to one’s health. A person’s liver can only deal with a certain amount of alcohol. Drinking more than this amount can seriously damage liver cells and the liver’s functions. Furthermore, the chances of liver cancer hugely increases as does heart, pancreatic and gut problems. Alcohol has negative effects on ones emotional stability too causing anxiety and depression. If one ends up with an alcohol dependency the problems are infinite.

If you have an alcohol or drug related problem. Please call 01462 851414 for free and confidential advice and help.