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Drinking Sensibly

Introduction

How many units are in your favourite drink?




Introduction

Drinking too much can be bad for your heart as well as for your health in general – so don't over-do it.

However, drinking a small amount of alcohol each day is perfectly safe for people with angina or after a heart attack.  Here is guideline for safe limits:

Men can safely drink up to 3-4 units in one day
Women can safely drink 2-3 units n one day

Different drinks have different units of alcohol, e.g. 1 unit of alcohol equates to a half pint of standard strength beer or cider, a 25ml measure of spirits such as vodka, gin or whisky. A 750ml bottle of wine contains 9 units of alcohol, and 330ml can of premium strength lager has 2 units. 

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How many units are in your favourite drink?

The number of units of alcohol in a drink depends on the strength (ABV – alcohol by volume) and the volume of the drink.  If it's twice the strength or twice the size then it contains twice the number of units.  For example, a 440ml can of standard strength beer contains approximately 2 units of alcohol, a small 125ml glass of wine contains approximately 1½ units and a small 25ml measure of spirits contains approximately 1 unit.  Don't forget.  The measure you pour at home will be bigger (often a lot bigger) than a pub measure.

Don't 'save up' your units – space your drinking over the week.  Avoid large amounts at one sitting.

Here are some helpful hints if you want to cut down your drinking:

  • Tell people you trust about your decision to cut down
  • Keep a count of how much you are drinking over the week
  • Set yourself a limit to stay below
  • Try new social activities that don't involve alcohol

and if you are drinking,

  • Take smaller sips
  • Space your drinks with non-alcoholic drinks
  • Dilute drinks well with non-alcoholic mixers
  • Avoid buying in rounds if this encourages you to drink more quickly

If you feel you need help to cut down ask your practice nurse or GP for advice. 

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