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Alcohol and health: what you
need to know

For most of us, the odd glass of wine or beer is associated with pleasure, socialising and relaxing. And when it's consumed in moderate amounts, alcohol can be part of a healthy, balanced diet. However, drinking to excess can have an adverse affect on our health and wellbeing. Discover our top tips for cutting back, plus delicious mocktail ideas

Cans and glasses of beer

Alcohol and your health

Looking to make healthier choices? Try cutting back on the amount you drink, as this can significantly reduce your calorie intake. Not only does alcohol contain 7kcal per gram, but it can also act as an appetite stimulant. Additionally, drinking less alcohol or none at all can help you save money, sleep better, improve concentration and make you feel more positive. All of these factors have recently resulted in an increase in the popularity of low-alcohol and no-alcohol drinks.

If you're drinking more than the recommended amount (see 'How much?' section below for more information) or fancy a lighter version of your favourite tipple, discover our range of low-alcohol and no-alcohol drinks in store, including our alcohol-free G&T can and low-alcohol ciders. 


How much?

Current guidelines for alcohol consumption are no more than 14 units of alcohol per week for both men and women. This equates to around six pints of beer, six glasses of wine or six double gin and tonics. It is also recommended that you don’t ‘save up’ these units for one or two days, but instead spread them over the week. Pregnant women are also advised not to drink alcohol.  Find out more from the NHS here

Drink (average ABV) Measure Calories (kcal) Units
Lager (5%) 1 pint (570ml) 239 2.8
Wine (13%) Regular glass (175ml) 133 2.1
Gin (40%)  Double (50ml) 95 2

Wine bottles and glasses of red and white wine
Bottles of red, white and rosé wine with fruit

Tips on cutting down

There are lots of simple ways to cut down on the amount of alcohol you consume. Try diluting your drinks, adding diet lemonade to lager to make shandy, or soda water to white wine for a spritzer. Choose smaller sizes or low-alcohol wines and beers, and alternate alcoholic drinks with water or soft drinks. When pouring at home, use a measure instead of freely pouring, and stick to single measures.

How can we help?
We actively support Drinkaware in helping people to make better choices about drinking. Our alcohol provides units and calorie information on the labels to make it easier for you to monitor your alcohol (and calorie) intake. We’ve also developed a range of lower-alcohol and non-alcoholic drinks and cocktails that are available in store now.

Botanical mocktails 

Perfect for mocktail hour at home, our 0% alcohol botanicals is deliciously refreshing and perfect served with tonic and a wedge of lime. Want to pull out all the stops? Take a look at our ideas below. 

For an alcohol-free take on a lemon gin fizz, shake our 0% alcohol botanicals, lemon juice, Cook With M&S preserved lemon paste, sugar syrup and egg white in a cocktail shaker. Shake until frothy then add ice and shake again. Strain, top with soda water and garnish with lemon and rosemary.

Love the flavours of cucumber and elderflower? Simply peel cucumber into long strips and swirl around the inside of the glass. Pour in some of our 0% alcohol botanicals and elderflower cordial. Add ice and top with soda water.

For a perfectly pink drink, squeeze grapefruit juice into a cocktail glass, add the 0% alcohol botanicals, ice and tonic. Garnish with a slice of grapefruit. 

Pick up our 0% alchol botanicals in store now.

Mocktails and 0% alcohol botanicals

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