Drinkaware is an independent charity working to reduce alcohol misuse and harm in the UK. We're here to help people make better choices about drinking.

Understanding the low risk drinking guidelines in relation to lager

The UK’s Chief Medical Officers' (CMO) low risk drinking guidelines advise that both men and women are safest not to regularly drink more than 14 units a week. Six pints of 4% ABV beer will put you over those low risk drinking guidelines.

If you regularly drink over these guidelines, you are increasing your chances of developing long-term health conditions. Find out more about the effects of alcohol.

How many calories are in a pint of lager?

Alcohol is made by fermenting and distilling natural starch and sugar. This means that lager can contain a lot of calories. For instance, a pint of lager with 4% ABV can contain 180 calories, similar to a slice of pizza.

Lager, like any kind of alcohol, can stimulate the appetite and make calorific post-pub fare like kebabs and chips look really appealing.

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

Check the strength of lager

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 there is.

Take our Alcohol Self Assessment test to find out if you're drinking too much.

How to reduce the amount of lager you are drinking

  1. 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 help make your evening’s units go further.
  2. Alternate your alcohol with water or soft drinks: Non-alcoholic drinks can help pad-out your alcohol consumption, reducing the overall units you consume. Water will also help you to stay hydrated. You could add lemonade to your lager making a ‘shandy’ which is an easy way to drink less alcohol.
  3. Have several Drink Free Days per week: Many medical experts recommend having several Drink Free Days to ensure you don't become addicted to alcohol. 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.
  4. 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 drinking guidelines. Our free Drinkaware: Track and Calculate Units app is perfect for tracking your drinks when you’re out and about. 
  5. Tackle your triggers: If you always have a drink to celebrate a good day at work, or commiserate a bad result at the football, try doing something else instead. An alcohol-free dinner out is a feel-good treat, while a gym session or five-a-side match is a great way to avoid using alcohol to relieve stress.