Your Health

Alcohol

Drinking alcohol in moderation can be safe and enjoyable, but too much can lead to health problems. Drinking less reduces your risk of heart disease, cancer and liver damage, and you’ll be less likely to have an accident. To stay healthy:

  • Men should not regularly drink more than 3-4 units of alcohol a day
  • Women should not regularly drink more than 2-3 units a day
  • If you've had a heavy drinking session, avoid alcohol for 48 hours

(“Regularly" means drinking this amount every day or most days of the week)

A small glass of wine (125ml) has 1.5 units. A pint of lower strength (3.6% abv) beer, lager or cider has 2 units. A single shot (25ml) of 40% spirit has 1 unit.

If you regularly drink more than the recommended amount, try swapping your usual for a smaller drink or lower strength drink, a soft drink, a later drink or a meal time only drink. You can also try:

  • Spending more time with people who don't drink or drink very little – meet friends or join a club.
  • Taking up a new hobby or interest
  • Having a warm drink rather than an alcoholic one to help you sleep

You should avoid alcohol if you're ill or feeling cold, avoid drinking on an empty stomach and try to have at least two alcohol free days a week. If you are on medication from the doctor, some should not be taken with alcohol as their effect will be reduced or stopped altogether. Ask your GP or pharmacist if you are unsure

For more information go to www.nhsdirect.wales.nhs.uk/LifestyleWellbeing/Alcohol

ID: 2095, revised 23/01/2018