Many people aren’t sure about just how the alcohol absorption process works. This information is important so one knows how long they can expect to be under the effects of alcohol. After all, you wouldn’t want to take any medications or drive while there is a lot of alcohol in your system. In fact, there are many different factors which play a role in how your body absorbs alcohol…
Alcohol Absorption: How Long Does It Take?
The body and alcohol
Alcohol absorption is tricky for most people to understand because it’s absorbed faster than it metabolized. Absorption is also dependent on several variables that change from person to person. These include body weight, water and food content in the body, and even gender…For example, a person who is 150 pounds will see their BAC increase by .02% per hour after one standard drink. However, their body can only remove .016% per hour. So even if you only have one drink per hour, your BAC will still increase.
Removal from body
The key part of alcohol absorption happens in your liver. This is where the alcohol is processed and then exerted through other means. The amount exerted through sweat and other bodily fluids is about 5%.
However, your liver does have a limit to how much it can process. On average, it can only process about .016% per hour, which is much lower than a standard drink. Other factors, like your liver size and health, impact your liver’s ability to process alcohol.
You can’t speed up the process
Alcohol processing can’t be sped up. No matter how fast your body absorbs alcohol, it can only “burn” the .016% per hour. Drinking water, coffee, showering, or even vomiting might make you “feel” better, but it doesn’t increase the process.
Alcohol traces can also linger in your body. A breathalyzer can detect alcohol on the breath for up to 24 hours. Blood and urine tests can detect up to 12 hours, saliva from 1-5 days, and hair for up to 90 days!