Units and calories in lager
Get the facts on tap about exactly what goes into your lager
- What are the daily unit guidelines?
- Find out how many calories are in 2 pints of lager
- 5 tips to cutting down on lager
- Popular lager brands in the UK
- A potted history of... lager
- Did you know?
- Does lager make you pee more than usual?
What are the daily unit guidelines for lager?
The government advises that people should not regularly drink more than the daily unit guidelines of 3-4 units of alcohol for men (two 330ml bottles of Grolsch) and 2-3 units of alcohol for women (a pint of Carling)
A pint and a half of 5% lager puts a man over the daily guidelines. Just one pint will put women at the upper limit of the guidelines too.
If you regularly drink over these guidelines, you could be increasing your chances of developing long-term health conditions. Find out more about the effects of alcohol.
Checking a lager’s ABV (alcohol by volume) will give you a guide to how strong it is. The ABV tells you what percentage of the drink is made up of alcohol. For example, a lager with 5% ABV is 5% pure alcohol. The higher the percentage, the more alcohol is present.
How two pints of lager has as many calories as one steak pie
Alcohol is made by fermenting and distilling natural starch and sugar. This means that lager can contain a lot of calories. For instance, two pints can contain the same calories as a steak pie. Lager, like any kind of alcohol, can stimulate the appetite and make calorific post-pub fare like kebabs and chips look really appealing.
For more facts: find out if alcohol is making you fat and get the truth about beer bellies, love handles and moobs
Things you can do right now to reduce the amount of lager you are drinking
- Mind your measures If you’re used to drinking pints of lager, try switching to smaller measures like a half pint or a small bottle instead. Remember to check the volume too. Lagers with higher ABVs have more alcohol and count for more units. Changing to a beer with a lower ABV will mean you can make your evening’s units go further.
- Take the soft option Alternating soft dinks like cola, juice or water with alcohol helps stretch out your units. They’ll also help hydrate you too. Or try swapping lager for shandy to avoid drinking so much.
- Avoid drinking every day Give your body a good rest by making some nights each week lager-free. Not only will it mean you feel great in the morning – your liver will thank you for it too.
- Track your drinking over time If you choose to drink, recording exactly what you’ve drunk during the week will give you a great idea of whether you’re within the guidelines. MyDrinkaware our new web-based drink tracking tool is perfect for this.
- Tackle your triggers If you always have a pint to celebrate a good day at work, or commiserate a bad one, try doing something else instead. An alcohol-free dinner out makes an easy feel-good treat, while a gym session is a great way to relieve stress.
Discover some more practical ways to cut back on beer with our tips on cutting down.
Popular lager brands in the UK
- Beck’s Vier
- Carlsberg Export
- Peeterman Artois
- Stella Artois
A potted history of … lager
Lager (which means ‘storage’ in German) is the biggest-selling alcoholic drink in the UK., with 27 million pints sold in pubs every day. It originally came from Europe, and until the 1840s it would have usually been a dark-coloured drink rather than the lighter liquid that’s often sold today. Its popularity means that many lagers are manufactured in this country – 85% of premium lagers sold in Britain are brewed on these shores.
Did you know?
Too many lagers can give you a bad case of the “beer goggles”. This happens when the alcohol in lager starts to affect your judgment, making people appear more attractive to you than they might when you’re sober.
Fact or fantasy: Lager makes you pee more than usual
Fact: Lager,like any kind of alcohol, makes you pee out much more liquid than you take in. For every gram of alcohol you drink, the amount you urinate increases by 10 millilitres. That’s why the toilets get so busy at the pub after everyone’s had a couple of drinks.
Are you drinking too much?
Find out how many units you are drinking
Compare your drinking to the government's daily unit guidelines.Try our Unit Calculator
Take a drinking self assessment
Answer these simple questions and find out what kind of a relationship you have with alcohol.Assess your drinking
Page updated: April 2013
Did you know?
More than 1 in 10 deaths of people in their 40s are from liver disease, most are from alcoholic liver diseaseAlcohol and the liver
Calculate your calories
Find out how many calories are in your drinksTry our unit calculator
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