Do you know your limits?

1/03/2011

So before painting the town red last Friday, you had dinner before you went out but your friend didn’t. You both drank the same amount but it affected your friend a lot more than you. Why? Because you ate. Did you know if you eat before drinking, the effects of alcohol are more controlled than if you're running on empty?

 

Drinking menBelow are several other factors which may affect a person’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) differently to their peers on a night out.

1. Size/weight

The effects of alcohol on a person who have a small stature and low body weight will feel the effects more quickly as they have less tissue overall to absorb alcohol.

2. Eating before-hand

If you opt out of eating dinner before you go out and wonder why you feel the effects of alcohol quicker from only a couple of drinks, its because food slows down the rate of absorption.

3. Type of drink

Did you know the type of drink-mixer you choose to combine your alcoholic drinks with plays a part in your body’s absorption rate? If you choose water or juice as a mixer, it is absorbed by your body more slowly. Whereas if you decide on other mixers such as coke or any other fizzy drinks, the absorption rate speeds up.

4. Age

In accordance to the weight and size section, younger people tend to be smaller and weigh less. As well as their physical attributes, younger people tend to have less experience with the effects of alcohol than their adult companion. As a result, the effects of alcohol will be greater and thus do more damage that it would to an older person. Also, alcohol can be particularly destructive to teenage brains which are still developing.

5. Gender

Before you think this sounds sexist, here are some reasons as to why women may be affected by alcohol more than men.
• A body of a woman is physiology made up with more fat (for reproduction) than men.  For example, if a man and women were of the same size and they drink the same amount, the women would get drunk more quickly and feel the effects longer.
• Women are generally smaller and weigh less than men – meaning less tissue to absorb alcohol than their male counterparts.
• The amount of enzymes which break down alcohol is lower in females than in males. This means alcohol will stay in a woman’s system longer and have a greater effect.
• Lastly, women feel the effects of alcohol more quickly just before and during ovulation. However, if a woman is on the contraceptive pill, alcohol may have the reverse effect -taking it longer for alcohol to expel from the body than normal, as well has having a delayed response to alcohol (she may drink more than recommended before feeling any effect).


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