Units and calories in ale and stout
Drinking seven pints of strong ale or stout, over a week, would put you over The UK Chief Medical Officers' low risk drinking guideline of drinking no more than 14 units a week.
If you regularly drink over the low risk drinking guidelines you could be increasing your chances of developing long-term health conditions.
Checking an ale'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 ale with 5% ABV is 5% pure alcohol. The higher the percentage, the more alcohol there is.
Alcohol is made by fermenting and distilling natural starch and sugar. This means that ale and stout can contain a lot of calories. For example, a pint of ale or stout with 5% ABV can contain over 250 calories, the same amount in a whole bagel. Ales and stout, like any type of alcohol, can stimulate the appetite and make calorific post-pub fare like kebabs and chips look really appealing.
Drinking juice or another soft option between drinks will help you stay hydrated and slow down the rate you're drinking. Ale drinkers appreciate the unique flavours in each brew, so a glass of water can help cleanse the palette between different drinks.
You’ll usually find the ABV written on the pump at the pub or on the side of the can or bottle. It’s your at-a-glance guide to an ale's strength. Brands with higher ABVs have more alcohol, and more alcohol units – so think about choosing a half rather than a pint.
Drinking in rounds means that you're drinking at the speed of 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.