What is a unit?
We always hear about units of alcohol, and how you should monitor how many units you're drinking, but no one ever explains what it means. We've wrapped up the main bits for you, so it's easier for you to understand. That way, you can be safer when you're out.
The Sciencey Bit...
A Unit is 10ml of pure undiluted alcohol.
Which means in a 25ml measure of Vodka at 40% ABV, 10ml is just alcohol, and 15ml is other bits that give it its unique flavour.
A Pint of standard strength beer or cider typically has about 2 units of alcohol. But stronger beers and ciders can have a lot more, so bear that mind.
A Small glass (125ml) of normal strength wine has about 1 unit. But do keep in mind that stronger wines and larger amounts will be a higher amount of units.
Currently the UK Government recommends that no one should have more than 14 units per week and having 2 days off alcohol each week is ultimately best for long term health benefits.
If you are concerned about your alcohol intake, or that of someone close to you, check out this page for more information.
Technically in the UK the legal limit to drive after drinking is currently 80mg of alcohol for every 100ml of blood. Some people try and work this out in units and still drive. However, everyone is so different in body shape, and alcohol absorption changes depending on what and when you've eaten, as well as a number of different things. We, therefore, recommend that if you're driving, it’s probably best to stick to the soft drinks.
It’s also really important to remember that it can take your body about 1 hour to process about 1 unit of alcohol. Therefore, if you've had a heavy night, there's a good chance you haven't completely processed all of the alcohol. Strongly consider if you're safe to drive the morning after. Again, everyone is slightly different. So the 1 unit/hour is a rough guide... Some people can take much longer to fully recover. There is no way to speed up this process!