Interesting alcohol facts

Despite the availability of alcohol, and the part it plays in many people’s lives, not everyone knows the facts about alcohol and how it can affect you. We’ve compiled some interesting alcohol facts with links to other relevant information, so you can be more aware of what you’re drinking and what it could be doing to your body.

Facts on alcohol units


Did you know?

A pint of 4.5% cider contains more than twice the number of alcohol units than a standard 25ml shot of 40% spirit

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Cider and beer might have a far lower ABV (alcohol by volume) than spirits, but the large measures these drinks are served in mean you can easily consume a lot of alcohol units without realising. Try opting for lower ABV beers and ciders and ordering half pints or 330ml bottles rather than pints. Why not use our unit and calorie calculator to see the alcohol measurements for different drinks?


Did you know?

One unit of alcohol is equal to either 10ml or 8g of pure alcohol

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One unit is the amount of alcohol that your body can process in an hour. In terms of drinks, one unit is one 25ml shot of a 40% ABV spirit (a single) or one 275ml bottle of 4% alcopop. Read more facts about alcohol units.

Facts on alcohol guidelines


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If men drink more than a pint and a half of 4% beer, or a large 250ml glass of 13% wine, they will exceed the lower risk guidelines

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Women will exceed the lower risk guidelines if they drink more than a medium 175 ml glass of 13% wine, or a pint of 4% beer

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For many people, having a couple of pints or glasses of wine is a regular occurrence, but one that means they are often unknowingly exceeding the lower risk guidelines. One good way to ensure that doesn’t happen to you is to avoid getting involved in rounds when you’re out. Another is to avoid buying alcohol in bulk when you’re shopping. For more on the risks levels for men and women, we’ve got information on alcohol unit guidelines.

Facts on calories in alcohol


Did you know?

A pint of lager contains as many calories as a slice of pizza

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Drinking alcohol on a night out can add a lot to your calorie intake. It can also induce hunger, which sometimes leads to poor dietary decisions such as a takeaway on the way home. Read on for more about the units and calories in alcohol.


Did you know?

You would have to run for roughly 34 minutes to burn off the calories in half a bottle of 13% red wine

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The calories in alcohol have no nutritional value, but still take a surprising amount of time to burn off. Furthermore, your workout can be affected by how much you had to drink the night before. Our Alcohol and Exercise page explains why a heavy night is bad news for your fitness in more ways than one. 

Page updated: March 2015