If your question is not answered below or you have a problem using DrinkControl app, please send an email from the DrinkControl app using [Send email] option in the About tab (e-mail will contain diagnostic information that will help us identify problems and assist you). You may also e-mail us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To learn about improvements, changes and fixes on the latest app update, check out the DrinkControl changelog.
Frequently asked questions
Using DrinkControl on iPhone
There is no single definition of moderate drinking. What one person considers moderate, another person may view it as heavy drinking. That said, moderate or "safe" or low-risk drinking might be defined as one that does not generally causes problems, neither to the drinkers themselves nor society.
Alcohol may affect each individual differently and the recommendations vary greatly around the world, but the main idea behind associated with consuming alcohol moderately is improved health and greater longevity.
Some groups of people should not consume alcohol at all or should limit its use to less than the amounts suggested by guidelines. These groups are:
• Pregnant women or those trying to conceive;
• Drivers or those engaged in other activities that require alertness and dexterity (such as driving a car or heavy machinery);
• People taking certain over-the-counter or prescription medications;
• People with pre-existing medical conditions that are negatively affected by drinking;
• Recovering alcoholics;
• People younger than the age of 18-21 (depending on country-specific regulations).
The concept of “standard drink” or “alcohol unit” (they basically are synonyms) is used in many countries to quantify alcohol intake and means a notional drink that contains a specified amount of pure alcohol. One standard drink/alcohol unit always contains the same amount of alcohol regardless of container size or type of alcoholic beverage and is commonly restated as a measure of beer, wine or spirits. The effects of the various kinds of alcoholic beverages are evaluated based on the amount of pure alcohol contained in them and the size of a standard drink/unit.
Health authorities use 'alcohol units' or 'standard drinks' when advising on quantities of alcohol intake. Official standard drink or alcohol unit generally contains between 8 and 14 grams of pure ethanol, although the measures vary among countries. For example, in the United States a standard drink is 14g / 18 milliliters / 0.6 fluid ounces of pure alcohol. In the United Kingdom, units of alcohol are used to express guidelines for the consumption of alcoholic beverages. The strength of an alcoholic drink is indicated by the percentage of alcohol by volume (ABV). A unit corresponds to approximately 8 grams (or 10 milliliters) of pure alcohol, regardless of the amount of liquid in which it is diluted. For instance, half a pint of beer (ABV 3.5%) or a small glass of wine (ABV 12−14%) is the equivalent of one unit. In Australia, Ireland, Italy, Poland and Spain a standard drink is 10g / 12.7 milliliters of alcohol.
There is no international consensus on a single standard drink/unit definition or limits for low-risk/moderate alcohol use. For example, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services define moderate drinking as up to two drinks a day for men and one drink a day for women. In the UK, the guidelines issued by the Department of Health (DH) recommend a maximum daily alcohol intake of three to four units for men and two to three units for women. Any occasion in which a person drinks more than the daily-recommended limit should be followed by 48 alcohol-free hours. It should be noted that other countries have their own definitions of standard drink/alcohol unit and safe or "low-risk" limits.
Binge drinking is the modern definition of drinking alcoholic beverages with the primary intention of becoming intoxicated by heavy consumption of alcohol over a short period.
Currently there is no world wide consensus on how many drinks constitute a "binge". However, in the United States, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism defines binge drinking as a pattern of drinking that brings a person’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) to 0.08 grams percent or above. This typically happens when a woman has had four or more drinks or a man has had five or more consecutive drinks within a couple of hours.
One gram of ethyl alcohol yields seven Calories (kcal - dietary/nutritional calories) of energy when metabolized by the body. The total calorie content of an alcoholic beverage includes the calories from the alcohol itself and calories from the other components of the beverage (residual sugars or grains in beers and wines, for example).
Alcohol itself contains only "empty calories" and has no nutritional value. High levels of calories in most alcoholic drinks can account for a large percentage of your daily energy requirements. Your body cannot store alcohol, so it must metabolize immediately. It is estimated that "empty calories" should not exceed 10 to 15 per cent of your total daily calorie needs.
DrinkControl by default shows you the amount of alcohol calories contained in drinks but does not provide information on calories from other components, as each individual drink may contain varied and/or added ingredients (for instance wines with the same alcohol volume may contain different measures of residual sugars). Estimating the levels of calories is especially hard in cocktails, as these can include number of other ingredients (at times very rich on calories). Therefore, the total amount of calories you have consumed with your drinks is probably higher than shown on the calories chart (unless you consume only spirits).
If you know the exact amount of calories for your favorite drinks you can adjust this value in the [Modify Drink Types] option in the Settings tab for better accuracy in the consumed calories statistics chart (and for syncing amount of calories with Apple Health).
In the USA moderate alcohol consumption recommendations are elaborated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. According to the "Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020-2025" the standard drink is 14g (0.6 fl oz). For most adults, moderate alcohol use should not exceed more than up to two standard drinks per day for men and one drink per day for women and seniors. One drink equals a 12-ounce bottle of beer (5% alcohol), a 5-ounce glass of wine (12% alcohol) or 1.5 ounces of 80-proof distilled spirits (40% alcohol).
According to US National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism binge drinking is considered consumption of four or more drinks per day (eight or more drinks per week) for women and five or more drinks per day (14 or more drinks per week) for men. Binge drinking is the consumption within single occasion (i.e., at the same time or within a couple of hours of each other) of multiple drinks.
In the United Kingdom moderate alcohol consumption recommendations are elaborated by the Department of Health (DH). In 2016, the DH published its latest "UK Chief Medical Officers’ Low Risk Drinking Guidelines". The new guidelines do not set daily drinking limits and recommends both men and women not to drink more than 14 units per week on a regular basis. If one does drink as much as 14 units per week, it is best to spread this evenly over three days or more.
A previously published guideline named "NHS Choices. Drinking and alcohol, 2011" stated that men should not regularly drink more than three to four units of alcohol per day and in any case no more than 21 units per week. Women should not regularly drink more than two to three units of alcohol per day and no more than 14 units per week. Individuals should also take a break for 48 hours after a heavy session to let their bodies recover. Pregnant women or women trying to conceive should avoid alcohol altogether. Nor is it recommended to practice binge drinking (saving up units for the weekend and consuming more than twice the maximum recommended daily intake of alcohol).
In Canada moderate alcohol consumption recommendations are elaborated by the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse and presented in detailed guidelines on the "Canada’s Guidance on Alcohol and Health (2023)" report.
A standard drink in Canada is 13.45grams (0.5oz) and defined as 12 fl. oz of beer; 5 fl. oz of wine; or 1.5 fl. oz of spirits. According to guidelines, low/moderate risk alcohol consumption is considered as up to 2 standard drinks per day and below 7 standard drinks per week (previous Canada guidelines had much higher weekly limits). Binge drinking is defined as 5 standard drinks per occasion for men or 4 standard drinks for women. Non-drinking days every week should be planned to avoid developing a habit.
In Germany moderate alcohol consumption recommendations are elaborated by the Federal Ministry of Health of Germany (Bundeszentrale für gesundheitliche Aufklärung or BzGA).
According to Germany's responsible drinking guidelines for low-risk consumption, a standard drink is 10g of alcohol. Men should not exceed two standard drinks per day while women should not exceed one standard drink per day. BZgA also recommends at least two days of abstinence from alcohol per week. Excessive drinking is considered four or more drinks per day for women and five or more drinks per day for men.
The World Health Organization (WHO) was established in 1948 as the specialized agency of the United Nations responsible for directing and coordinating international health matters and public health. For countries where there are no official government guidelines, such as Belgium, China, Germany, Hungary, India, Russia and many others, the World Health Organisation recommends low-risk responsible drinking guidelines to be followed. Alcohol consumption guidelines are described in the publication "Self-help strategies for cutting down or stopping substance use, 2011".
According to guidelines a standard drink is 10g (a 330 ml beer can at 4% alcohol or a 100 ml glass of wine at 12% alcohol). Low risk consumption is up to two drinks per day and at least two days of abstinence within the week (no more than 10 drinks per week).
Previous WHO guidelines recommended not exceeding four drinks on any single occasion and stated low risk limits for weekly alcohol consumption of up to 21 drinks for men and up to 14 units for women.
Using DrinkControl On iPhone
Instead of a applying alcohol consumption limits to calendar week/month DrinkControl uses the last 7/30 days as rolling time periods (which includes today as well) to provide you with more accurate and consistent tracking of alcohol use within defined limits, as well as actively encouraging you to "take a day off” (taking a drink today will affect all your reporting periods, there are no "reset" or "clean slate" every next week/month).
The Today tab of DrinkControl shows three status bars of your alcohol consumption - today, last seven days, and last 30 days. The status bar colors in the Today tab as well as colors of bars in the Stats-Units chart have distinct meanings.
Today bar (1d):
(blue) - you haven't consumed more alcohol than the average recommended alcohol units per day.
(violet) - you have consumed more than the recommended daily units (but below binge drinking).
(red) - you have reached the binge drinking level.
Last 7 days bar (7d):
(blue) - you are below the maximum recommended alcohol
units limit for the rolling week (last seven days, including today) and during the period you haven't surpassed the binge drinking
limit in any of the days.
(violet) - you haven't consumed more than the weekly maximum recommended amount of alcohol units within last seven days but you have surpassed the binge drinking level at least once within this time period.
(red) - in the last seven days you've consumed more than the maximum recommended alcohol units per week.
Last 30 days bar (30d):
Most countries don't set a maximum recommended monthly alcohol limit.
DrinkControl defines the monthly limit by applying the weekly limit proportionally for a 30-day
period (four and a half weeks).
(blue) - you haven't consumed more alcohol than the monthly limit during the last 30 days (rolling time period, includes today).
(red) - you've been drinking above the monthly limit in the last 30 days.
DrinkControl accounts all drinks consumed until 7:00am of the previous day and will automatically register as such when you input drinks early in the morning.
Let's say you go out on Saturday evening and stay at club/bar until early hours of the following day. All the drinks you enter after midnight will count towards Saturday - not Sunday - unless you keep going past 7:00am when the drinks start registering on Sunday. This approach describes your drinking patterns more precisely, as it details your alcohol consumption in an undivided extent of time.
Unfortunately, not at the moment. You can select among limits from different health organizations in [Settings].
Not yet. DrinkControl uses the currency settings from your phone's default regional settings. You can calculate the price manually (with the help of calculator keyboard in the app) and enter the price in your default currency. It's also possible to leave the price field empty if not relevant to you.
Select the date in Calendar tab and tap [Add] button. Tapping an existing drink in the Calendar will open it in editing mode.
Tap the [Calendar] tab, select a date and tap the corresponding drink on that day.
In the Calendar tab, select a date and then swipe on the drink entry (from right to left) to reveal [Delete] button. Alternatively, you longtap on the drink entry to reveal [Copy] and [Delete] actions.
If you opened DrinkControl and noticed unexpected changes in the drinking limits - it's not a bug and there's nothing wrong with your phone or app. From time to time, organizations responsible for health policy update their recommendations for moderate/low-risk alcohol consumption or publish new guidelines. You might miss app changelog details explaining these updates if your phone is set to update apps automatically.
In DrinkControl version 5.9.1 we have updated those limits to match the latest recommendations:
- A bit lower US weekly limits to match US National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism guidelines.
In DrinkControl version 4.9 we have updated those limits to match the latest recommendations:
- Increased USA weekly limit for both men and women from the latest "Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2015" by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
- Reduced UK weekly limits for men from the the latest "UK Chief Medical Officers’ Alcohol Guidelines" effective from January 1st, 2016 (daily limits kept from previous guidelines as new guidelines do not specify a daily limit).
- Reduced Canada binge limits from the updated "Canada's Low-Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines" by Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse.
- Reduced WHO daily and weekly limits from the "Self-help strategies for cutting down or stopping substance use" by World Health Organization.
- Increased Germany binge limit; reduced weekly limit by the BZgA.
Another important update in the app version 4.9 is more accurate reporting for daily, weekly and monthly consumption - reaching the moderate drinking limit (for example when 2.0 units are consumed on a two units limit) doesn't mean that you have stepped over the moderate drinking line. This does not apply to binge limit reporting as all guidelines clearly state that reaching the limit for binge/excessive drinking means you have already crossed the limit line.
Go to the app [Settings] tab and select Appearance-[Custom background] option. Choose existing photo, take a new photo with your iPhone camera or select image from Files - after photo is selected you can pan and zoom to position photo in the Today tab.
Yes, you can. Go to Settings tab and select [Modify Drink Types] option (available with DrinkControl paid features enabled). Hide drinks you don't like with [On|Off] switches. Tap [Reorder] button to reorder the list according to your preferences.
We have included the most popular drinks. If you can't find a drink of your choice you can add your own drink in the Settings tab by selecting [Modify Drink Types] and pressing [Add new drink] (available with DrinkControl premium features enabled). Enter the name of the drink, select the most appropriate icon and set default alcohol volume/serving size and calories per serving.
To switch between metric or US/imperial units use Settings tab [Drink Sizes in] option.
Note that with US fluid ounces or Imperial fluid ounces option enabled for drink sizes, some of drink sizes in the drink picker may not exactly match ounce value translated to milliliters - values in the picker for ounces always are rounded up to 0.5oz, while respective drink size for the drink saved in the app will be the one that most closely match real life situations.
For example, with US fluid ounces enabled, glass serving sizes for wine in the picker will be 4oz, 5oz and 6oz servings, while real values saved in the database for these servings will be 125ml (4.22 fl oz), 150ml (5.07 fl oz) and 175ml (5.92 fl oz) - amounts that are usually used for serving wine.
If you have premium features enabled in the app, you can add missing serving sizes by editing drink in the [Settings]-[Modify drink types], then longtaping on serving sizes picker wheel in the drink type editing screen.
When premium features are enabled in the app, you can also longtap on ABV (alcohol by volume) picker wheel when tracking drink to switch between 0.5% and 0.1% precision modes for setting alcohol volume.
For user-defined drink types 0.1% step for alcohol volume picker in the drink editing screen is enabled by default.
Tap to fill in the price of your drink. If you paid for several drinks (the count picker allows you to opt for more than one) enter the price of only a single drink, as the total price will be calculated automatically. After some use, DrinkControl will be able to suggest the price for the currently selected serving size from your previous records. You can fill price field with suggested price with a single tap.
Yes. You can save/share your stats using sharing button on the right of every chart in the Stats tab. For example, you can email stats to yourself or save them in Notes and other apps.
Please think carefully before sharing your stats or making them visible to everyone. While your drinking stats might be fun for your friends or helpful for your support group/doctor, they should not be available for your current/future employer and other third parties. Making your stats accessible to everyone is probably a terrible idea. Think very carefully before sharing anything from DrinkControl publicly.
If you have enabled Premium features via in-app subscription, subscription payments will auto-renew within 24hrs of expiration. You can turn off auto-renew at least 24hrs before expiration or change subscription period by visiting your AppleID account subscription settings.
Read Apple Support article for more information about changing/cancelling subscription plans.
If you have already purchased premium features on a previous or different device and are using the same iTunes Store account, you can restore your previous purchases.
Make sure you are logged into the App Store with the same AppleID account used to download the app and to purchase features within the app - check the iTunes & App Store section by launching Settings.app on your iPhone.
Then launch DrinkControl, open Settings tab and use the [Restore purcahses] button in Settings - [Premium Features] screen. This will restore all in-app purchases you have made before.
In case the restore process doesn't work, it may be because the the previous purchase was not fully completed – it might happen due to App Store errors or unexpected interruptions on your Internet connection. In this case, it is safe to buy premium features again - you will not be charged twice (when using the same AppleID account). After you confirm your purchase, App Store will inform you that an in-app purchase has already been made.