People stop or reduce their alcohol intake for many reasons. This could be personal beliefs or health reasons. In fact, some people have never tasted alcohol for personal reasons. Whatever your reason [and goal], we want to start by saying you are on the right track. Excess alcohol consumption destroys your body systems more than you know. It looks cool consuming the entire bottle, but where does it go? What is the effect on your body? How long does it stay in your system?
Anyone who understands the alcohol pathway in the body knows why we constantly warn against excessive alcohol intake. Your body literally fights to expel every drop of alcohol in your system. Just as it would fight to expel poisonous substances from your body. Alcohol has no nutritional value. It is not absorbed for any nutritional purpose. So, why drown in alcohol every day?
By the end of this article, we are positive you will have a better understanding of the alcohol pathway in your body. This could be the last piece of the puzzle that you need to finally stop or limit your alcohol intake.
What Is The Process Of Alcohol Metabolism?
To begin with, metabolism describes the entire process from when a substance is consumed to when it is finally digested and absorbed or eliminated from the body. Therefore, alcohol metabolism is the breakdown of alcohol from the time it is consumed until it is eliminated from the body. Every drink you take goes through this process.
The entire amount goes directly into your stomach, where your first responder enzyme, Alcohol Dehydrogenases (ADH), is waiting to defend your body against it. This first responder enzyme has been found to be lower in women than in men and also in those that drink on a regular basis than those that hardly or never drink alcohol.
Eventually, after a constant battle with little firepower, your ADH becomes overpowered in the case of an excessive drinker, allowing about 80% of alcohol to quickly dive into your bloodstream, heading directly to your powerhouse, the brain, lungs, and several other tissues in your body, which is why you often feel high almost immediately.
Furthermore, the remaining 80% of alcohol that made it through is confronted by the 2nd responder, a much larger defence, the liver, which fights them completely and passes the remaining 5% to the 3rd, 4th, and 5th responders, namely, the skin, kidney, and lungs, to finish the job.
Does That Mean I'm Overworking My Organs When I Drink Too Much?
Short answer – Yes!
Have you seen the movie “X-MEN: Wolverine”; where Wolverine heals himself by growing and regenerating himself?
The liver is designed in a similar way. However, its ability to regenerate gets lower with excessive alcohol consumption. You end up overworking these organs and never giving them enough time for restoration, hence they ultimately give up and shut down.
How Long Does It Take For Alcohol To Break Down?
Actually, it depends on how much alcohol is ingested into the body as well as the percentage of alcohol by volume (ABV). In other words, it depends on the number of soldiers being deployed and the weaponry they are using.
Nevertheless, it takes roughly five half-lives to complete the process. Each half-life lasts for around 4 to 5 hours, although the process usually begins 60 to 80 minutes after consuming alcohol.
In conclusion, the metabolism of alcohol takes 25 hours to complete. This means a 25-hour battle every time you drink. Imagine how worn out your liver would be in a couple of years.
Why Does It Take That Long Time To Process?
The duration depends on multiple variables such as your age, sex, body size, and certain medical conditions.
That’s why people react differently to the same amount of alcohol.
How Long Does It Take For Alcohol To Be Detected By Tests?
As we stated above, the duration of alcohol in the human body varies. Everyone absorbs alcohol at a distinct rate. Nonetheless, the general rule is:
- Blood test after 12 hours
- Hair test after 90 days
- Urine test: within the next 5 days
- Breath test after 24 hour
- Saliva test after 48 hours
How Does Eating Alter Alcohol Metabolism?
Eating before drinking affects your speed of getting high. But this doesn’t change anything about the quantity or metabolism process.
Does Mixing Coffee Or Energy Drinks With Alcohol Make You High?
First off, know that mixing alcohol with whatever doesn’t reduce your alcohol consumption. Also, this is a tricky combination because alcohol is considered to be a depressant drug and coffee/caffeine or energy drinks are known to be stimulants.
Combining the two at the same time is confusing when you stop to think about it. The simple answer, though, is that it makes you less high since it cancels each other out.
What Are The Safety Measures To Drinking Responsibly?
Excessive alcohol consumption looks cool until you peep behind the curtains. Give your body a fighting chance by reducing your alcohol intake. You will be doing yourself a lot of good. For more assistance, do not hesitate to contact us. We are here to help!
Want more tips?
Check out our previous video/article on 10 Effective Ways To Cut Back On Excessive Drinking. Please don’t forget to like, share, and subscribe so that we can always bring you helpful tips like these. Thank you!