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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. Here's the lowdown...

Cans and glasses of beer

Alcohol and your health

Alcohol contains seven kcal per gram. What’s more, it can act as an appetite stimulant, which may lead to weight gain. Cutting back on the amount you drink can significantly help to reduce your calorie intake.


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 three or more days. Pregnant women are also advised not to drink alcohol.

Drink (average ABV) Measure Calories (kcal) Units
Lager (5%) 1 pint (568ml) 244 2.8
1 small bottle (330ml) 142 1.6
Wine (13%) Regular glass (175ml) 159 2.3
Large glass (250ml) 228 3.2
Double gin and tonic Large (50ml) 160 1.9
Double gin and low-calorie tonic Large (50ml) 106 1.9

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.

Spiced mocktails 

Shake up a delicious alcohol-free cocktail with our new 0%-alcohol golden spiced drink. This no-booze tipple is delicious served over ice with fiery ginger beer and a wedge of lime, or try one of our tasty ideas below. 

Fancy something comforting? Mix our 0%-alcohol golden spiced with honey, Cook With M&S pumpkin spice seasoning and lemon juice in a mug or glass. Pour over some boiling water and garnish with slices of lemon and a cinnamon stick. 

For a refreshing minty mojito mocktail, muddle mint leaves, sugar and lime juice in a glass. Add a measure of 0%-alcohol golden spiced and fill the glass with ice. Top with soda and garnish with mint leaves and lime. 

For a tropical alcohol-free piña colada, shake the 0%-alcohol golden spiced with coconut cream and pineapple juice in a cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake again. Pour into a glass and garnish with fresh pineapple and toasted coconut flakes. 

Find everything you need to make these fun mocktails, including our 0%-alcohol golden spiced, in store now. 


A selection of spiced mocktails
Mocktails and 0% alcohol botanicals

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 from 4 January.

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