What is an alcohol unit?
The humble unit of alcohol is by no means a new concept in the United Kingdom, with origins leading back to the late-1980s. The concept of a unit of alcohol is used by Government to advise citizens of the maximum volume of alcohol that can be healthily consumed on a daily and weekly basis. If you go over the maximum recommended daily allowance of alcoholic units, you are deemed to be putting your health at risk.
The unit is a concept of alcohol measurement to aid drinkers in their appreciation of what is and what isn’t a healthy amount of alcohol to consume. If you consume an amount over and above that which is considered healthy for your sex, you’re deemed to be putting your mental and physical health at risk.
The alcoholic content of one unit varies from country to country and currently, no international standard exists. In the United Kingdom, 10ml of pure alcohol make up a single unit of alcohol. The liver takes on average one hour to process one unit of alcohol into harmless byproducts such as water and oxygen which are later expelled from the body in the form of urine. If you consume an excessive number of units in a short time period, the liver will not be able to process the alcohol in ‘one go’. The excess alcohol will be ‘queued’ for processing on the bloodstream. Since women have less blood in their bodies than men, women will require less alcohol than men to feel the effects of drinking alcohol.