How many units of alcohol are in a bottle of wine or pint of beer? Recommended intake per week explained

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Work out how many units of alcohol are in your drink

For many the festive season is a social time of year and, while things might be a little different this time around, raising a glass of Christmas cheer remains an annual tradition.

But do you know how much alcohol is in a pint of beer, or bottle of wine?

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With so much choice over what to drink and what size glass to order, it can be a tough task remembering how many units of alcohol is in each one.

Work out how many units of alcohol are in your glass of wine. (Pic: Getty Images)Work out how many units of alcohol are in your glass of wine. (Pic: Getty Images)
Work out how many units of alcohol are in your glass of wine. (Pic: Getty Images)

What is an alcohol unit?

Units are a way of telling how strong an alcoholic drink is due to the different strengths and sizes many come in. One unit of alcohol equates to 10ml or 8g of pure alcohol.

It takes an average adult around an hour to process one unit of alcohol so that there's none left in their bloodstream, although this varies from person to person, according to Drink Aware.

What’s the recommended amount of alcohol units per week?

Men and women are advised not to drink more than 14 units of alcohol a week, according to the NHS. It states 14 units is the equivalent to six pints of average-strength beer or 10 small glasses of low-strength wine.

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To keep health risks from alcohol to a low level, the NHS recommends spreading drinking “over three or more days if you regularly drink as much as 14 units a week” and “if you want to cut down, try to have several drink-free days each week”.

How many units are in a glass or bottle of wine?

The amount of pure alcohol content in a drink is usually expressed by the measure of alcohol by volume (ABV), which can be found on the labels of bottled goods and advertised on beer hand pulls. The higher the ABV percentage the stronger the drink.

For example, a bottle of wine that says "13% ABV" or "Vol. 13%" means 13% of that drink is pure alcohol.

The amount of units in any drink can be worked out by multiplying the total volume of a drink in millilitres by its ABV percentage and dividing the result by 1,000.

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A standard 175ml glass of the 13% ABV wine would equal 2.3 units of alcohol using the formula 13 (%) x 175 (ml) ÷ 1,000 = 2.3 units.

A small glass (125ml) is 1.6 units, a large (250ml) is 3.3 units and a 750ml bottle of 13% wine is equal to 9.75 units of alcohol.

How many units are in a pint of beer?

The same equation applies for beers, ciders, champagne, spirits and alcopops.

For example, to work out the number of units in a pint (568ml) of strong lager (ABV 5.2%) the equation would be: 5.2 (%) x 568 (ml) ÷ 1,000 = 2.95 units.

If you or someone you know has been affected by anything in this article please visit the charity Drink Aware HERE.

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