How long does Alcohol Stay in Your System? Its Dangers & How to Prevent An Alcoholic Hangover
It is certain that someday we all have to get a taste of this kind of beverage. After all, alcohol has played a significant role in multiple aspects of human life since ages ago.
However, some people are still hesitant when thinking of alcohol assumption. Will they get drunk easily?
I understand that no one wants to get a hangover while a queue of work is lining up for them continuously.
How long will they be capable of driving home after a party? These types of concern always surround the fact that how long does alcohol stay in your system?
Overview of alcohol
The effect of alcohol on the central nervous system depends on the concentration of alcohol in the blood. At the low dosages, alcohol is a fast-acting stimulant. In this case, alcohol could provide a sense of relief for your mind and reduce anxiety. Therefore, it is the perfect catalyst for any party or gathering. In contrast, excess consumption of alcohol might lead to behavioral disturbance and intoxication because alcohol acts a potent depressant at higher dosages.
Alcohol is absorbed almost instantly when taken into the body. It will go along with the bloodstream to and induce the effect on your brain. After that, alcohol and its metabolism byproducts will still reside in many parts of the body. Here is the summary of how long alcohol stays in the system:
- Blood: 10 to 12 hours
- Breath: 24 hours
- Urine: 1-2 days
- Hair: Up to 90 days
Factors contributing to the duration of alcohol inside body
It is certain that people differ in their capability of alcohol consumption. The explanation for this difference is because of many determinants on how long alcohol stays in the system.
- Age: The body of the youth metabolizes alcohol with a faster rate
- The rate of alcohol taken into the body (do you binge drinking?)Have you eaten anything before drinking?
- Obesity and weight
- Function of the liver
- Are you on any medication?
How does alcohol affect your system?
Alcohol is quickly absorbed through the gastrointestinal tract. It will reach the maximum concentration in the blood in around 30 minutes. However, other food could slow down the absorption rate of alcohol. Once the bloodstream carries the alcohol to the brain, it will initiate the psychoactive effects.
Nearly 20% of ethanol penetrates directly into the vascular system at the stomach, and the remaining 80% passes through the intestinal capillaries. The longer alcohol stays in the stomach, the more concentrated the amount of ethanol in the blood.
However, alcohol could also stimulate the production of gastric acid. Therefore, excess consumption of alcohol is one of the leading factors responsible for digestive diseases such as digestive tract ulcers, GERD, and throwing up bile.
Alcohol and body fat
Ethanol is more soluble in water than in lipid. That’s why the adipose tissue in the body could also slow down the absorption rate of alcohol. You are more tolerant to alcohol if the constitution of your body is rich in lipid. For example, slim people are easy to get drunk when compared to those who are obese.
However, ethanol could increase the level of HDL, which is the healthy lipid carrying cholesterol in the bloodstream. Therefore, a glass of wine with a plant-based dinner could help to prevent heart disease and stroke.
The excretion of alcohol
How long does alcohol stay in your system depends on the elimination of alcohol from the body? Some types of alcohol can be burned by the body’s energy, converting alcohol into water and carbon dioxide. Also, the energy released from the breakdown of alcohol also dilates the vessels and makes your face flush. Some alcohol will evaporate through the breath and urine (10%). Therefore, you should socialize more when drinking to stay awake. Singing or karaoke are also helpful to prevent drunkenness.
The liver plays a vital role because it detoxifies nearly 90% of the ethanol in the blood. The duration of alcohol in your system is determined greatly by the liver function. Normally a person can eliminate 10 grams of ethanol per hour. There is a variety of healthy food that can give you a boost and detox your body from toxins like alcohol.
For patients with the chronic liver disease such as cirrhosis, the liver cells may suffer permanent damage from ethanol. Therefore, patients with liver disease must not consume any alcohol.
Many alcoholic may justify their drinking behavior by saying that their liver function is superior. However, the explanation for the tolerance of alcoholics is that the nervous systems are accustomed to higher levels of ethanol.
Useful tips for alcohol hangover
Finally, I want to share with you these very simple pieces of advice that could help you deal with any party with alcohol:
- Do not drink on an empty stomach, as there is no food in the stomach; the body will absorb alcohol faster.
- Know your limit and don’t overdo it
- Eat a cup of hot soup or casserole water when you wake up next morning. It will help your body compensate for lost salt and potassium.
- Drink herbal tea with honey. Fructose helps the body burn alcohol more easily.
- Apple cider vinegar: When drunk, drink 25ml vinegar or boil 50ml apple cider vinegar, 25g of red sugar and three slices of ginger to drink. Vinegar is a solution of 5% acetic acid when taken in the reaction will form esters with alcohol (ethyl alcohol), the alcohol concentration decreased. Ginger contains an active substance that could reduce intestinal spasms and vomiting.
- Lemon liqueur: In lemon has a high citric acid will ester alcohol, reduce the alcohol concentration.
- Fresh peel of citrus fruit: Blend 20g of chopped orange or lemon peel with 300 ml of warm water. This solution is a perfect way to get rid of the drowsiness from alcohol
With these tips, I think you could let your hair down at any party without the concern of how long does alcohol stay in your system.