Many of us have been there before: You’ve had a few drinks, and now you’re wondering when you’ll be completely sober again. Read on to find out how long does alcohol stay in your system and what can you do to speed up the process.
The answer to this question depends on how much alcohol you’ve had to drink – the larger the number of the drinks, the higher your blood alcohol content and the longer it takes to clean out your system. Once the alcohol is consumed it will slowly enter into your system and remain in the blood until the body itself expels it.
Even though it’s a fact that some people tend to get drunk faster than the others, we all sober up at the same time. The liver does 90% of the work when it comes to metabolizing alcohol, breaking it down and flushing it out from your system. Everyone’s liver metabolizes alcohol at the same rate: 1 ounce (29 milliliters) per hour. The rate in which alcohol is broken down does not vary based on some factors like the person’s weight, size, or sex, although this is very popular belief among people. Alcohol can leave your body through perspiration, breath, and urine, which means that the majority of it will be broken down with the metabolism.
The standard alcoholic drinks are a 12-ounce (355 milliliters) beer, a 1.5-ounce (44 milliliters) shot of 80-proof liquor and a 6-ounce (177 milliliters) glass of wine. They all contain 1 ounce of alcohol, which means that one drink will stay in your system for one hour. So whether you are drinking beer or wine, most beverages contain a similar amount of pure alcohol which will affect your body. Contrary to common belief, there’s nothing you can do to make it go faster. Not even a strong coffee, a cold shower or vomiting will shorten your waiting time.
If you’re drinking one drink per hour, your liver will be able to keep up with the workload and flush all the alcohol out as it comes in. However, if you’re downing shot after shot, you’ll definitely screw up the equation. Your liver will continue to work at the 1-ounce-per-hour rate, so all the extra alcohol will start circulating through your body, waiting to be processed. As the alcohol floats around, having its way with your brain, your blood alcohol content stays elevated. Even after you have stopped drinking, the amount of alcohol in your system will continue to rise.
However, there are several ways to help you slow down the level that alcohol enters your system. For example, if you eat something while you’re drinking alcohol, you will slow down the intake of alcohol into your metabolism. In this way, you can manage your sobriety effectively.
It has also been proven that drinking soda or water in between alcohol will also slow down the rate in which alcohol enters your bloodstream. Another good idea is to sip drinks slowly in order to avoid too much alcohol entering your system at any time. Try this method of drinking one drink per hour if you want to avoid having too much of the chemicals enter your body.
So, as you can see, it is possible to slow down the level that alcohol enters the system, but you cannot increase the rate that it leaves the body.