How Long Does Alcohol Stay in Your System?

How Long Does Alcohol Stay in Your System?

Alcohol is absorbed in the body at the rate of one ounce per drink per hour, and it stays in your system between one to three hours. However, it can still be detected in your urine and breath up to 24 hours, and hair tests can determine if you have drunk alcohol for the past 90 days. How long does it take for alcohol to leave your system? Well, on average, the body takes one hour to metabolize one standard drink. Your system straightforwardly metabolizes alcohol. However, how long the alcohol stays in your body will be determined by the amount of alcohol you drink.

Once you take alcohol, it travels into the stomach and ileum. A small percentage of it is absorbed in the stomach, but a more significant portion is incorporated in the ileum. After absorption, it goes into the bloodstream directly. When it is in the blood, it is transported rapidly to the whole body, which explains why it affects all your body systems. Most of it usually ends up in the liver, where it is metabolized. Generally, the liver metabolizes one ounce of alcohol in about an hour, but it might become saturated if you consume more than this.

How long does it take for alcohol to leave your system when your body becomes saturated? When alcohol reaches the body’s saturation level, it accumulates in the blood and tissues until the liver can metabolize it again. For it to leave your body after saturation, it may take more than 24 hours. Moreover, if saturation happens many times, you may develop damage to your brain and bodily tissues. Generally, the human liver is useful in absorbing alcohol in the body provided it is not taken quickly, which might bring about poisoning. Doctors estimate that 90%-98% of alcohol that someone drinks is usually absorbed or metabolized in the body. The other percentage is excreted from the body through urine.

What is Blood Alcohol Concentration?

BAC is generally the percentage of alcohol in an individual’s body. It is usually expressed as a percentage of ethanol in the blood. For many people, an ounce of alcohol produces a 0.015% of BAC.

According to the body’s BAC, how long does it take for alcohol to leave your system? Ideally, a person with a 0.015% BAC will not have any alcohol present in their body system after 10 hours. However, the more alcohol you drink, the more it stays in your system. For starters, if your blood-alcohol level goes beyond 0.05%, the adverse effects of alcohol in your body start to increase. When you reach such levels, calm, relaxation, and happiness begin to turn into depression and irritability. At about 0.9%, your balance will be off, and the alcohol will incredibly impair most of your skills. You may start vomiting because of excess alcohol in the blood because your body cannot break down the alcohol quickly. You are considered excessively intoxicated in America and unable to drive with above 0.08% alcohol content in your system.

The Standard Drink

Most individuals underestimate how drunk they are because of not using the standard measure of drinking. Standard alcohol equals one 12-0z beer, 5-oz for wine, and a 1.5 ounce if you take liquor. Be sure to use the standard drink measurements whenever you drink, to ensure that you don’t indulge in excessive drinking.

Which Factors Affect the Rate that Alcohol is Managed in the Body?

While alcohol is usually broken down at a constant rate in the body, some individuals may feel drunk for a longer time. Then how long does it take for alcohol to leave your system? The following factors profoundly influence the amount of time that alcohol stays in your body.

  1. Age – The older you are, the longer alcohol will stay in your liver before it is metabolized. Age increases the length or the intoxication period. Water in a person’s body reduces with an increase in age, therefore, making the BAC level to be higher. Moreover, the older you get, the more likely you will be taking medications, which also contribute to liver complications. In a nutshell, alcohol is usually absorbed in the body slower when we get older.
  2. Sex – Generally, because of many physiological issues, alcohol is broken slower in females than in males. It is because women have more fats in the body and less water than men. Ideally, it means the man can dilute alcohol more than the woman even if they are of the same age, weight, height, and even take the same alcohol bottle. Hormones also affect the general ability of the body to break down alcohol. Therefore, a woman experiences a higher BAC during her menstruation period. Moreover, further studies have shown that women don’t have enough enzymes that metabolize alcohol in the stomach.
  3. Food – When you eat before drinking alcohol, it has a powerful influence on your body’s alcohol absorption rate. A meal helps dilute alcohol and slows down emptying alcohol into the ileum, where absorption occurs faster. Therefore, eating a meal and having a snack when you are drinking, helps induce some enzyme activity in your liver, and slows the rate of alcohol absorption.
  4. Body size – Primarily, individuals that have more body fat usually have higher body alcohol levels. Lower water tissues may not absorb alcohol in the body the way higher water tissue does. Your body size directly determines the amount of water in your body, meaning that the smaller you are, the higher your BAC. In a nutshell, understanding your body’s BAC and how alcohol is absorbed in your body may help prevent alcohol consumption’s adverse effects. But, if you are struggling with alcohol addiction, it would be best to get professional help and weigh your rehabilitation options. Always remember to drink responsibly, and the standard drinking measures whenever you are out drinking.