How Long Do You Stay Drunk? you may Ask..!!!
Having a couple of drinks after work may seem nice after a long day of work. There’s also a nice level of euphoria that you feel where everything in the world looks nice despite some things feeling disjointed and looking fuzzy.
There are, however, times when you need to sober up fast. This can be easy if you’ve only had two bottles of beer for the night, but this can be difficult if you’ve just polished off half a bottle of whiskey in an hour or two.
This article discusses how the body processes alcohol as well as the factors that affect how slow or how fast you transition from drunk to sober.
What Defines Drunk?
Being drunk is a status that can be subjective. In the United States, being drunk means that your blood has a certain amount of alcohol in it. This is called Blood Alcohol Concentration or BAC. You are considered as legally drunk in the U.S. if you have a BAC of 0.08 grams of alcohol per deciliter of blood.
For regular people, defining the state of drunkenness can also vary from person to person. To others, they are already considered drunk if they are already giddy and have that “high” feeling. Others define drunkenness as having limited motor control, slowed reflexes, or slurring of speech.
Others, however, define being drunk as no longer being able to walk or stand, having no memories of actions or events, or vomiting. As you can see, there are many ways that you can classify the status and “levels” of drunkenness.
How Is Alcohol Processed in the Body?
Alcohol, when consumed, goes into the bloodstream almost immediately. That is why we often feel the effects of alcohol immediately after a drink. Alcohol gets into the blood through the gastrointestinal tract primarily the stomach and the small intestine. This is then distributed towards all parts of the body.
While alcohol can be expelled from the body through means such as urination, sweat, feces, and breath, the majority of alcohol is eliminated by the liver. The liver metabolizes the alcohol and breaks it down so that it no longer has the composition and effects of alcohol.
As such, the liver is the main organ that defines how fast you actually go from drunk to sober. A healthy liver can process about one standard drink in an hour. This is why drinking fast and hard will mean that you will get drunk faster, and not putting in more alcohol will allow your liver to process alcohol already in your blood.
Of course, different types of drinks will have different alcohol levels. For that reason, you will generally get drunk faster when you drink hard liquor as compared to cocktails or beer. A standard drink is often defined as either a 12 oz. bottle of beer, a 5 oz. glass of wine, or a shot of liquor.
Of course, the actual alcohol content in drinks will play a part. Light beer will have less alcohol than draft beer, for example. Knowing this is important in knowing how fast a particular drink can get you drunk.
What Affects How Long We Stay Drunk?
There are several factors that will define the speed by which our body can process alcohol in our blood. However, these are more general factors and we cannot provide exact numerical figures on how each particular condition will affect your drunkenness state.
How fast a person will stay drunk will vary from person to person depending on these factors.
Generally speaking, the more you weight the faster you will get sober. This is because there is more space for the ingested alcohol to be distributed within the body, thus having a lower BAC when compared to a lighter person having the same amount of drinks.
Age factors in when it comes to a person staying drunk for longer as the liver’s functions when it comes to metabolizing alcohol degrades with age. The fluid content within our bodies also decreases as we get older so our BAC gets higher faster even as we consume alcohol at the same levels when we were younger.
Males get sober faster when it comes to females. This is because females have generally less water in their bodies while having more fat, two factors that dictate how fast how alcohol is metabolized. Like older individuals, their livers are also not built to process alcohol as effectively as males.
Studies have shown that genetics also play a part when it comes to sobering up quickly. Asians in particular when compared to other races, cannot metabolize alcohol as effectively as they lack certain enzymes that make the process of alcohol breakdown in the liver more productive.
Rate of Alcohol Consumption
The speed by which you drink alcohol is another factor to consider. If you are consuming alcohol at a faster rate than your liver can process it, your BAC will constantly rise. Even if you are no longer drinking, a higher BAC will mean that it will take more time for you to completely process and eliminate the alcohol from your body.
Over time, your body will build up a tolerance of alcohol especially if you are a regular drinker. This means that the effects of alcohol on you will be more limited. However, this does not mean that your BAC will be lower even if you drink the same amount of alcohol. This only means that its effects will be less on you as time goes by.
Physical or Mental Fatigue
Studies have shown that those who are tired or who are having trouble at work or home are more susceptible to the effects of alcohol. This means that they get drunk faster even when they are drinking the amount that they regularly do.
Eating food before, during, or after drinking helps immensely in lowering your BAC and unloading work for your liver. This is because food in the digestive tract slows down the absorption of alcohol in the blood. There are no significant differences in the type of food that you eat. For as long as you are full, you will stay drunk for a shorter period of time.
Reduced kidney and liver functions will have an effect on how fast you get sober. If you cannot excrete or metabolize alcohol efficiently, then your BAC will remain high even as a healthy person has already eliminated the same amount of alcohol. Some medications can also inhibit the efficiency of your liver in metabolizing alcohol.
Drinking water is one of the best things that you can do when drinking. Drinking a glass of water for every standard drink can help in elimination through urine. This will also help your liver in being more productive, lowering your BAC in the process.
Those who consume alcohol regularly as well as casual drinkers should take note that alcohol is considered as a toxin by the body. While it would be okay to have a drink or two, excessive drinking may overtax your liver as well as your body to the point that health issues may arise.
As such, it is very important to drink in moderation and ensure that you have ample recovery time between drinking sessions to ensure that you can still enjoy your favorite drinks while still staying safe and healthy.