Why does alcohol sometimes make you drunk faster than other times?

Why does alcohol sometimes make you drunk faster than other times?

Eating is cheatingpeople who think drinking is cool sometimes say. Because if you eat, you’re less likely to get drunk, and that’s cheating. Anyone who wants to drink but not to get too drunk, puts a bottom, as they say. How does that work? And why do you sometimes get drunk faster than others?

How quickly you get drunk depends on whether you are male or female, fat or thin, small or tall, old or young. This determines how quickly alcohol enters your blood and how high the concentration in the blood is. Alcohol enters the blood through the oral mucosa, esophagus, stomach and small intestine. The liver, which breaks down the lion’s share, does so little by little and does not store anything. If it is not processed immediately, alcohol reaches the entire body, including the brain, through the blood. You feel that. And you will feel this more quickly if you are not used to alcohol, because your liver produces alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) less quickly than habitual drinkers, the enzyme that breaks down alcohol into the toxic acetaldehyde that makes you so hungover.

There are websites that say that carbohydrate-rich foods, such as pizza, pasta and pancakes, are the best base for an evening of lamp swinging. But why does pizza make a better base than a fried egg? It is difficult to find substantiation for this. It probably doesn’t matter whether you have carbohydrates, fat or protein in your stomach. That you have a bottom is more important than what it is. Food inhibits the absorption of alcohol and ensures that the alcohol enters your blood more evenly, writes Trimbos, the knowledge institute for alcohol. A nourished body also contains a higher level of ADH enzymes. Women have fewer of these enzymes in the stomach, intestines and liver than men, which is why alcohol remains in the blood for longer in women. Aspirin makes it worse, because it causes the enzymes in the stomach to do their work less effectively.

Fishbowl on a leg

Then what you drink. You would think: it doesn’t matter, because a standard glass – whether it is for beer, wine or spirits – contains 10 grams of alcohol. But apart from the fact that wine or gin and tonic are sometimes served in a fishbowl on a leg, the percentage of alcohol also plays a role. The ‘alcohol ABC’ that Trimbos refers to states that the body absorbs alcohol fastest if the drink contains 20 to 30 percent alcohol. Surprisingly, a glass of sherry (approximately 20 percent) produces a high alcohol content faster than a glass of vodka with 40 percent. This is because spirits inhibit gastric emptying. Elsewhere we read that high concentrations of alcohol irritate the stomach muscles and that slows down absorption.

In small experiments, subjects got drunk faster on vodka and tonic than on vodka alone. But there is no solid evidence that carbonated drinks make you drunk faster. This also applies to the straw hypothesis. When you drink through a straw, the alcohol comes into contact with your palate more than normal, which has more blood flow than your tongue, so some of the alcohol is already absorbed there, according to addiction center Jellinek. But does it work like that? Ninette van Hasselt from Trimbos sends another comment from researchers who conclude that it has never been properly investigated.

And what good is this kind of information? Much more relevant, says Van Hasselt, is the knowledge that how quickly you get drunk varies enormously per person and per moment. “It is important that you do not drink on an empty stomach and that you keep an eye on how much you drink. Who counts, drinks less.” And finally, an open door: “The best proven way not to get drunk is not to drink too much.”




SCIENCE