Champagne and the low risk unit guidelines

The UK Chief Medical Officers’ (CMOs) low risk drinking guidelines recommend that both men and women do not regularly drink more than 14 units a week.

Drinking just over nine 125ml glasses of 12% Alcohol by Volume (ABV) Champagne over one week means you will exceed these guidelines. Doing so regularly could increase your chances of developing long-term health conditions.

Find out more about the health effects of alcohol

How many calories are in Champagne?

You might be surprised to hear that one 125ml glass of 12% ABV Champagne contains 86 calories – similar to a two 'pigs in blankets'. This would take you nine minutes of running to burn off.

Just like in other alcoholic drinks, these are ‘empty calories’ with little nutritional value, meaning they do not benefit your body. 

Find out exactly how many calories you’re drinking with our Unit and Calorie Calculator 

Check the strength of Champagne

Checking a Champagne’s Alcohol by Volume (ABV) will tell you how strong it is. Look out for the ABV on the label, which shows what percentage of the drink is alcohol.

For example, a glass of Champagne with 12% ABV contains 12% pure alcohol. The higher the percentage, the more alcohol is in the drink.

How to reduce the amount you’re drinking

Champagne is often associated with parties and celebrations. And if someone else is doing the pouring it might be difficult to keep track of how much alcohol you’re drinking.

To make sure you don’t drink more than you intended to, try these top tips:

  1. Choose lower alcohol wines. Switching from a 12% ABV glass of Champagne to a lower-alcohol sparkling wine with 5.5% ABV can more than half the number of units you drink. If you stay within the guidelines, this can help you reduce the risk of longer-term harm from alcohol.
  2. Watch your glass. Hosts who regularly top up your glass can make it hard to keep track of how much alcohol you’re drinking. To stay on track, say no to automatic refills and alternate Champagne with soft drinks. If you’re out for drinks with work, don’t feel pressured to drink more – try the 5 tips in our after work drinks survival guide.
  3. Make the most of the buffet. Drinking alcohol on an empty stomach means it’s absorbed into your body more quickly. To slow things down eat before you drink alcohol, or if you’re at a celebration, make good use of the buffet.
  4. Find fresh ways to celebrate. Champagne often comes out to celebrate when good things happen. But there’s many other ways to mark an occasion, whether that’s buying a well-chosen gift for a friend or having an alcohol-free team event.
  5. Use our free tracking app. If you choose to drink alcohol, recording exactly what you’ve drunk each week will tell you whether you're keeping within the low risk drinking guidelines. Our free Drinkaware: Track and Calculate Units app.

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