Units and calories in lager

Get the facts on tap about exactly what goes into your lager

What are the daily unit guidelines for lager?

UK government alcohol guidelines state than men and women should both avoid drinking more than 14 units a week. This is the equivalent of 6 pints of 4% beer. They also recommend having at least two drink-free days a week.

If you regularly drink over these guidelines, you could be increasing your chances of developing long-term health conditions. Find out more about the effects of alcohol.

Checking a lager’s ABV (alcohol by volume) will give you a guide to how strong it is. The ABV tells you what percentage of the drink is made up of alcohol. For example, a lager with 5% ABV is 5% pure alcohol. The higher the percentage, the more alcohol is present.

Calculate how much lager you drink with our unit calculator.

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

Alcohol is made by fermenting and distilling natural starch and sugar. This means that lager can contain a lot of calories. For instance, a pint of lager with 4% ABV can contain 180 calories, similar to a slice of pizza. Lager, like any kind of alcohol, can stimulate the appetite and make calorific post-pub fare like kebabs and chips look really appealing.

Find out if alcohol is making you fat and get the truth about alcohol's impact on keeping in shape 

Things you can do right now to reduce the amount of lager you are drinking

  1. Mind your measures If you’re used to drinking pints of lager, try switching to smaller measures like a half pint or a small bottle instead. Remember to check the volume too. Lagers with higher ABVs have more alcohol and count for more units. Changing to a beer with a lower ABV will mean you can make your evening’s units go further.
  2. Take the soft option Alternating soft drinks like juice or water with alcohol helps stretch out your units. They’ll also help hydrate you too. Or try swapping lager for shandy to avoid drinking so much.
  3. Avoid drinking every day Many medical experts recommend taking regular days off from drinking to ensure you don't become addicted to alcohol. Give your body a good rest by making some nights each week lager-free. Not only will it mean you feel great in the morning – your liver will thank you for it too.
  4. Track your drinking over time If you choose to drink, recording exactly what you’ve drunk during the week will give you a great idea of whether you’re within the guidelines. MyDrinkaware our new web-based drink tracking tool is perfect for this.
  5. Tackle your triggers If you always have a pint to celebrate a good day at work, or commiserate a bad one, try doing something else instead. An alcohol-free dinner out makes an easy feel-good treat, while a gym session is a great way to relieve stress.

Discover some more practical ways to cut back on beer with our tips on cutting down. 

Page updated: January 2016