Unit guidance: What are the low risk drinking guidelines?

The UK Chief Medical Officers' (CMO) low risk drinking guidelines advise men and women not to regularly drink more than the 14 units a week. If you regularly drink over these guidelines you could be increasing your chances of developing long-term health conditions.

Find out more about the health effects of alcohol.

How many calories are in an alcopop?

A 275ml bottle of alcopop with 4% ABV can contain up to 171 calories, similar to a hot chocolate with whipped cream. This is down to the high sugar content in these types of drinks.

Find out exactly how many calories you’re drinking with our unit and calorie calculator.

Take a look at our information on calories in alcohol to find out why alcohol is fattening.

Check the strength of your alcopop

Checking an alcopop's ABV (alcohol by volume) will give you a guide to how strong it us. The ABV tells you what percentage of the drink is made up of alcohol. For example, an alcopop with 4% ABV is 4% pure alcohol. The higher the percentage, the more alcohol there is.

Things you can do to reduce the amount of alcopops you drink

To stay on track, try these top tips: 

  1. Drink soft drinks between alcopops: Alcopops taste very similar to soft drinks. Try drinking water, juice or another soft option instead of or between alcopops. It will help you stay hydrated and slow down the rate you’re drinking
  2. Calorie count: Because alcopops taste like soft drinks, they can be easy to drink – it can be easier to drink more units than is recommended. Get motivated to cut back by reminding yourself how many calories you’re consuming.
  3. Opt out of rounds: Drinking in rounds means that you’re keeping up with the fastest drinker, so you could be consuming your units faster than you’d like. Regain control, and maybe even save some cash, by buying your own drinks instead.
  4. Give alcohol-free days a go If you drink regularly, your body starts to build up a tolerance to alcohol. This is one of the main reasons why many medical experts recommend taking regular alcohol-free days to ensure you don't become addicted to alcohol. 
  5. Test out having a break for yourself and see what positive results you notice. Why not also give our non-alcoholic cocktails a-go. 
  6. Track your drinking over time: If you choose to drink, recording exactly what you’ve drunk during the week will tell you whether you're keeping within the low-risk guidelines.

Our free Drinkaware: Track and Calculate Units app is perfect for tracking your drinks when you’re out and about.

Discover some more practical ways to cut back on alcopops with our tips on cutting down.