This Is How Long Alcohol Stays In Your Body
It is the liver that predominantly breaks down alcohol, which can metabolize roughly one standard drink per hour for men.
In addition to age, weight, and gender, food intake can affect how fast the body processes alcohol. Sleeping or drinking water will not increase the rate of alcohol absorption.
What is the average amount of time alcohol stays in your system?
There may be a variation in alcohol detection times depending on the body system and test used. In most cases, alcohol stays in your system:
- In the blood for up to 12 hours
- In the urine for 12 to 72 hours
- On the breath for 12 to 24 hours
- In hair for up to 90 days and
- In saliva for 12 to 24 hours
“In general, how much you drink, how fast you drink, if your stomach is empty when you drink, your biological sex, your body composition, if you are on certain medications and your genetics all affect your alcohol clearance rate,” says Dr. Kathleen Grant, Ph.D., a professor of behavioral neuroscience in the OHSU School of Medicine and chief of the division of neuroscience at the OHSU Oregon National Primate Research Center.
The amount of alcohol absorbed by women is greater than that of men, according to Dr. Jenna Nikolaides, MD, an assistant professor of emergency medicine at Rush Medical College.
According to her, this is because men have a greater amount of an enzyme called alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH). ADH lives in the stomach lining and chemically reacts with alcohol before it can reach the bloodstream.
This enzyme is more prevalent in men than in women, so more alcohol reaches the bloodstream of women than of men. It is also interesting to note that women metabolize alcohol faster than men.
Dr. Suneet Singh, MD, an emergency room physician and medical director of CareHive Health in Austin, Texas, explains that the vast majority of the alcohol one drinks, is metabolized by the liver, while a very small amount is fully digested with no side effects.
According to Dr. Singh, alcohol is converted in the liver into acetaldehyde, the chemical responsible for headaches, nausea, and heart palpitations, which can occur with even small amounts of alcohol consumption.
In conclusion, how long it takes alcohol to clear your system and how it affects you physically can vary greatly from person to person. You should pay attention to how you feel after drinking any amount of alcohol and take steps to avoid short-term and long-term effects.
Excessive alcohol consumption, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, can not only result in alcohol abuse or dependence, but can also increase the risk of developing chronic diseases, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, cancer, liver disease, digestive problems, and weakened immunity. In addition, it's associated with mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety.
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