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The science of nutrition and healthy eating
The science of nutrition and healthy eating

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What is a unit of alcohol?

One unit is 10 ml or 8 g of pure alcohol in the UK. But different alcoholic drinks come in different strengths and sizes, so it can be difficult to be aware of how much alcohol you are having (Figure 6).

Examples of one unit of alcohol. (Drinkaware, 2016)
Figure 6 Examples of one unit of alcohol. (Drinkaware, 2016)

Some drinks are labelled ‘ABV’, which means ‘alcohol by volume’. This is also sometimes written as ‘vol’ or ‘alcohol volume’. Again, this makes it difficult to determine how many units of alcohol you are having.

Activity 8 Working out your units of alcohol

Timing: Allow approximately 10 minutes.

The formula for working out units using ABV is: Strength (ABV) × volume (ml) ÷ 1000 = units

How many units are there in a pint of strong lager (ABV 5.2%)?

Try to work it out rather than using a unit calculator. Work out the units you drink when you go out compared with having alcohol at home.

Click ‘Save’ when you are satisfied with what you have written.

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