Alcohol Units Calculator

The Alcohol Unit Calculator allows you to calculate the number of units in any alcoholic drink in any size drinking vessel. Simply enter the alcohol percentage of the drink and the vessel volume in millilitres (ml).

A selection of common measures is shown for ease of use. Simply select the alcohol category and select the desired alcohol measure.

Alcohol Units Calculator
This alcholic drink contains 2.6 units and 20.4 calories from alcohol*.
Choose an alcohol category and then click on the icon to add the serving size to the calculator
or you can type in a bespoke drinking vessel size.

* Remainder of the drink will likely contain additional calories, these calories are related to the alcohol only.

Women should not regularly drink more that 2-3 units of alcohol per day, consume no more than 14 units per week and should have a minimum of 2 alcohol free days per week.

Men should not regularly drink more that 3-4 units of alcohol per day, consume no more than 21 units per week and should have a minimum of 2 alcohol free days per week.

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How to calculate the number of units in alcohol

Alcahol Units = Strength (ABV) x volume (ml) ÷ 1,000
  • ABV is the measure pure alcohol as a percentage of the total volume of liquid in a drink. ABV may also be referred to as "vol" or "alcohol volume" depending on labelling and location.
  • The volume of the vessel is measure in millilitres (ml)

The concept of Alcohol Units is a standardised measure of the amount of pure alcohol consumed. This measure is critical in health and wellbeing disciplines, providing an accessible and universal method to assess alcohol consumption, thereby aiding in alcohol awareness and risk assessment. This tutorial will explore the concept, the calculation of Alcohol Units, its application across various fields, and notable achievements in the discipline.

Interestingly, the concept of Alcohol Units varies worldwide. For instance, in the UK, one unit equals 10ml or 8g of pure alcohol, roughly equivalent to half a pint of lower to normal-strength beer or cider, or a single small shot of spirits. Conversely, in the US, one 'standard' drink contains approximately 14 grams of pure alcohol, equivalent to 12 ounces of regular beer or 5 ounces of wine.

Aside from personal health monitoring, Alcohol Units are a vital tool in public health, education, and medical research. Public health organisations use Alcohol Units to formulate guidelines on safe drinking limits. In education, the concept is used to inform individuals about the potential health risks associated with alcohol consumption. In medical research, understanding alcohol units is crucial when investigating the links between alcohol consumption and health conditions.

For example, an individual might use the concept of Alcohol Units to ensure they're drinking within the recommended guidelines. Suppose they drink two 500ml cans of beer, with each can having an ABV of 5%. The total Alcohol Units consumed would be 2 × (500 × 5 / 1000) = 5 Units.

One notable achievement in this field comes from Dr. David J. Hanson, who has been actively promoting understanding of alcohol units and responsible drinking for over four decades. His contributions have played a significant role in shaping alcohol consumption guidelines and fostering awareness about the potential health risks of alcohol.

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Please note that the Alcohol Units Calculator is provided for your personal use and designed to provide information and information relating to the calculations only. The Alcohol Units Calculator should not be used for you to self-diagnose conditions, self-medicate or alter any existing medication that you are currently prescribed by your Doctor. If the Alcohol Units Calculator produces a calculation which causes you concern, please consult your Doctor for support, advice and further information.