How Long Does It Typically Take To Metabolize A Standard Drink (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 1 Hour

When people want to relax, forget all their stress and worries, some turn towards entertainment, while some just choose a drink and get drunk. There are many types of drinks, some very strong, some mild, and some very light. Some people choose cocktails, some choose mocktails, while some just take the bottle of whatever they like and just chug it down.

When you have a drink, it is necessary to know how long the effects will last in the system, so that you can know how much drinks can get you drunk. Knowing more about one’s body, ingredients present in their drinks, and the factors that determine how fast their body metabolizes the drinks can help them decide that.

How Long Does It Typically Take To Metabolize A Standard Drink?

Type Time
One shot of any liquor1 hour
A pint of beer1 to 2 hours
A glass of wine2 to 3 hours

Usually, alcohol is found in many forms. They can even be added to food, but alcohol is drunk about 90% of the time. When one drinks alcohol, it enters the digestive system, gets metabolized, and enters the bloodstream. A healthy body metabolizes alcohol at the rate of about 20 mg/dL every hour. and so, if the level of blood alcohol is around 40 mg/dL, it will take about 2 hours to metabolize the whole drink.

The body metabolizes alcohol at a constant rate usually for everybody, and yet some feel that they can feel the effects of alcohol longer than the others, and that depends on the individual. The duration of how long the effects last in a body primarily depends on the BAC in the body.

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BAC is abbreviated as Blood Alcohol Concentration, which is the amount of alcohol present in the blood to the level of water present. BAC’s can differ and the factors that affect the BAC of a person are how much alcohol they drink on an empty stomach, their age, their body weight, the kind of medications they take, and if they have any sort of health problems. It also depends if they are drinking the alcohol very fast.

Why Does It Typically Take That Long To Metabolize A Standard Drink?

When someone drinks on an empty stomach, it gets metabolized faster and enters the bloodstream sooner, and when one keeps drinking the alcohol very fast, which is also called binge drinking, can keep a person drunk longer.

Usually, when one says “drinks”, the mind directly goes to liquors like whiskey, brandy, gin, rum, vodka, and beer, and finally, the classic wine. Usually, people think liquors are stronger than beer and wine, and it is, but it is the other way in the process of metabolization.

The speed at which the body processes and metabolizes the alcohol, depends on the amount of alcohol one consumes and how long it usually takes the body to metabolize a standard drink. Another fact about alcohol is that they are the ones that are quickly metabolized by the body, more than any other drinks or food. There is a whole process that takes place when the drink gets metabolized and after that, they get mixed into the blood and the effects start acting up. Some of the alcohol enters through the blood while some enter through the stomach and other organs.

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The factors that determine how long it takes a body to metabolize any standard drink depend on multiple factors and their physical conditions. Unlike other drugs, alcohol has a very short lifespan in the body and its effects wear of sooner than any other intoxicating drug or drink. There is a certain rate at which a healthy body metabolizes alcohol.

Conclusion

The body takes about just an hour to metabolize a shot of liquor, about 2 hours for a pint of beer, and almost three whole hours to metabolize a huge glass of wine.

There are some tips that one can follow to reduce the effects of alcohol. Eating a little before consuming alcohol, and there is also a myth that coffee or any sort of energy initiating drinks can speed up the intoxication process much faster, which means one can get drunk faster. Water can also help in reducing the BAC, so water helps.

References

  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0304416502004877
  2. https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0011735
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