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Alcohol Absorption Rate
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What is the Rate of Absorption of Alcohol?
A serving of alcohol takes approximately 30-minutes to 2-hours after consumption to be fully absorbed into the bloodstream. The body metabolizes about 0.25 ounces of alcohol per hour. It is important to note that gender can be a factor in alcohol absorption.
Gender can influence a person's ability to absorb alcohol; for example, a 140 lb. male can drink two drinks in one hour and his blood alcohol level is 0.038, whereas when a 140 lb. female drinks two drinks in one hour, her blood alcohol level is 0.048. Women have less of the enzyme dehydrogenase, which breaks down alcohol in the stomach, thereby contributing to a higher BAC than a man drinking the same amount of alcohol.
What are the Effects of Alcohol on the Body
The effects of alcohol on the body is influenced by numerous factors:
- Person's Size and Weight
- Body Fat Content
- The Individual's Metabolism Rate
- Food Intake
- Strength of Drink
- Rate of Consumption
- Presence of Medication in System
- Illness or Fatigue
- Functional Tolerance
Alcohol Absorption Rate FAQs
How long does it take for the body to absorb alcohol?
Alcohol burns off at a rate of .016 BAC per hour, which is equal to about one standard drink each hour depending on the person's weight. This rate is true regardless of the size of the person's body. A 5'3" female will burn off alcohol at the same rate as an overweight 6'1" male.
How does body fat affect alcohol absorption?
Alcohol absorption varies depending upon the person's body fat level. For instance, a person with a higher percentage of body fat will be slower to absorb alcohol than someone with less. When two people of the same weight but different body fat levels drink the same amount, the person with less fat will absorb the alcohol faster than the one with more body fat. However, the absorption of the alcohol will metabolize at the same rate.
How long does it take to burn off alcohol?
With a BAC of 0.08% (legal limit), it will take approximately 5 hours to reach 0. For a BAC of 0.10%, it will take approximately 6.25 hours to reach 0, and for a BAC of 0.16% (2x the legal limit), it will take approximately 10 hours to reach 0. For someone with a BAC of 0.20%, it will take around 12.5 hours to reach 0.
I have a high tolerance. How does that affect BAC?
This is called functional tolerance which is the body's decrease in sensitivity to the effects of alcohol. While a person exhibiting functional tolerance will not seem as intoxicated as someone with little or no functional tolerance, it's important to know that this behavioral adaption has no effect on the liver's ability to eliminate alcohol at the rate of one drink per hour. Thus, having a "high tolerance" has absolutely no effect on BAC levels.
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