Track your drinking

Use the NHS Choices interactive tools to calculate alcohol units, assess your drinking levels and track your drinking over time.

Self-assessment

Are you drinking within recommended limits? Use the drinking self-assessment tool to find out if you’re drinking too much.

It’ll help you to assess the effects of your drinking and, if you are drinking too much, suggest ways of cutting down.

The NHS recommends:

  • Men should not regularly drink more than 3-4 units of alcohol a day
  • Women should not regularly drink more than 2-3 units a day
  • If you've had a heavy drinking session, avoid alcohol for 48 hours

    "Regularly" means drinking this amount every day or most days of the week.

    Unit calculators

    Use the alcohol unit calculator to find out how many units there are in a single drink or in a number of drinks.

    If you’re on the move, you can also text Units to 64746 to access the NHS units calculator on any smartphone.

    iPhone tracker

    If you have an iPhone or iPod touch you can download the drinks tracker from the iTunes app store for free.

    The app allows you to calculate units in your drinks, track your drinking over months and get personalised feedback.

    Desktop tracker

    The desktop tracker lets you calculate units, keep a drinks diary on your desktop and provides personalised feedback on your drinking.

    Available to both Windows and Mac users.

    Drinks diary

    Keeping a drinks diary for a week can be a real eye-opener to people who don’t realise how much they’re drinking.

    Download the drinks diary leaflet (PDF, 697kb) to work out your alcohol intake over a week.

    Page last reviewed: 01/12/2013

    Next review due: 01/12/2015

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    Comments

    The 11 comments posted are personal views. Any information they give has not been checked and may not be accurate.

    HannahR13 said on 04 December 2013

    Being aware of alcohol consumption is really important. Before long habits can run away with you and you may start to worry about your health. Our online clinic specialising in addiction issues, including alcohol, is a way for you to ask experts questions at your own convenience, outside of GP surgery hours and with a prompt response. Talkhealth is affiliated with NHS choices.

    Clinic open 4-10 December. Act now.

    http://www.talkhealthpartnership.com/online_clinics/online_clinic_on_addiction_2013.php

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    Mid Lifer said on 27 October 2011

    I'm old - 41, so I just use a diary.

    Keeping track of your drinking is very useful if you want to make changes. It gets you to focus on your drinking habit and it can give you valuable insights. Once you understand your habit it becomes much easier to change.

    Most of my drinking was in the home, so I decided to put a message on my wine bottle - just one glass per night.

    And surprisingly I did it. After all there wasn't any peer pressure to drink more.

    For more on cutting down your drinking

    http://themoderatedrinker.blogspot.com/2011/10/how-to-be-moderate-drinker.html

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    BillyJ said on 29 March 2011

    I've used this for 2 years and it's been good.
    I've just noticed that it's calculating the units incorrectly.

    Having drunk 9 units this week it says that my average daily units for the week is 2.3. This isn't true, I always trusted it but I don't think I'm going to use it in the future

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    caroline64 said on 27 January 2011

    Mmmm what intelligent comments! Yes as a forty-something female with a regular consumption of alcohol I downloaded this and was dismayed to see 'alcopops' but not fortified wines (sherry and port). No way I can tailor it to my drinks and specifically the smaller measure I have when I drink single malt whisky as my nightcap! So come on, get a little more flexibility in here and no many of us are just e-mail an dinternet and cannot see the need for an i-whatever...
    I will uninstall this now and hope to see an alert from Choices when the version 2 is available!

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    bigpinots said on 14 January 2011

    Agree with hyperplane and solentboy - the app is good but is being let down by not being able to enter other % wines (there's a heck of a lot of 12.5% wines out there) and you're own measures. An export feature would also be an added benefit.

    Great app though.

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    solentboy said on 17 May 2010

    I like the app, but having collected all this data I would like to be able to analyse it a bit more, or perhaps send to my doctor!

    What is really needs is a simple way to output the number of units by day to an email or something, for import into excel.

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    hyperplane said on 16 March 2010

    I agree this needs to be a lot more flexible - in terms of %s and also volumes. There's not really any reason why there can't be a totally flexible option when one could put in any volume and %. Why can't I have a glass of 9% Riesling, or a shot of Bailey's at 19%? I'd also like to be able to drink half a bottle of wine - at the moment it is testing my maths skills to come up with combinations that are equivalent! Would also be nice to be able to have more than one tracker going - I'd like to do my partner as well.

    Hope it can be improved as it's a great tool and has really helped me to cut down.

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    clo123 said on 17 December 2009

    I use a Nokia 5800 so would like to see the app translated to that. Nokia's Ovi store has loads of free apps for download so it's not like the iPhone/iStore is the thing out there...

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    KJH52 said on 02 December 2009

    This is a good idea and generally a good app but it does need further work. It seems aimed at the younger drinker, eg, it recognises four categories of alcohol, of which 'alcopops' is one whole category. In a laudable attempt to keep things simple, the inputs do not allow you to enter all drinks you might consume. For example, the first thing I wanted to enter was an 80ml small glass of sherry at 19% - a fairly standard drink? But the 'strength' category has nothing between 17% and 37.5% - so I cannot enter sherry, port, sloe gin and lots of other drinks. Both the 'strength' and 'size' options need to be much more flexible. One idea would be to have the 'simple' list (eg, 'small glass') up front and then a more complete and flexible list for things which do not fit the simple pattern of a pint of lager or whatever.

    It would also help if the records covered a longer period and/or could be exported or downloaded.

    But well done to the NHS for providing this. And it should not be too difficult to improve the app for later versions.

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    zzebster said on 01 December 2009

    Not everyone has an iphone by the way. What about making one for people without one. Surley something that is accesible to the majority not the minority would be more useful. Something written in java maybe???

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    zzebster said on 01 December 2009

    Not everyone has an iphone by the way. What about making one for people without one. Surley something that is accesible to the majority not the minority would be more useful. Something written in java maybe???

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