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Binge drinking usually refers to drinking lots of alcohol in a short space of time or drinking to get drunk.
UK researchers commonly define binge drinking as consuming more than six units of alcohol in a single session for men and women.
Six units is equivalent to drinking between:
For more examples, use Drinkaware's unit calculator.
This is not an exact definition for binge drinking that applies to everyone, as tolerance to alcohol can vary from person to person and the speed of drinking in a session can also alter alcohol's effects.
Drinking too much, too quickly on a single occasion can increase your risk of:
To reduce your health risk from binge drinking, try to:
Keeping track of your drinking is even more important if you are out in risky or unfamiliar circumstances. You can be at risk from others, and may not be able to look after your friends.
You can easily lose control of what you do or say and may make risky decisions, thinking you're invulnerable.
Below is a drink-by-drink guide, based on a standard (175ml) 13% volume glass of white wine and 4% strength pint of lager, showing how quickly alcohol can affect your mind and body.
One glass of white wine or a pint of lager (just over two units):
Two glasses of white wine or two pints of lager ( just over four units):
Three glasses of white wine or three pints of lager (just under 7 units):
Four glasses of white wine or 4 pints of lager (just over 9 units):
Bear in mind that some people, including women, young people and those with smaller builds, may experience the effects after drinking smaller amounts of alcohol.
If you find you have become tolerant to the effects of alcohol, you may be at risk of health problems.
In that case, consider whether it's time to cut back on your drinking or you need to seek help.
To keep health risks from alcohol to a low level if you drink most weeks:
Fourteen units is equivalent to six pints of 4% beer or 6 glasses (175ml) of 13% wine.
Find out how to treat a hangover.
Important: Our website provides useful information but is not a substitute for medical advice. You should always seek the advice of your doctor when making decisions about your health.