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How To Get Sober Fast

Estimated reading time: 27 minute(s)

Undoubtedly, each individual is unique. This is attributable to several factors, including height, weight, gender, life stress, BMI, and fitness. The body absorbs alcohol at its own pace, and the only thing that can be done is to wait. You may have heard the saying, “Time is a great healer,” and that is true in the context of alcohol intoxication.

According to the NHS, it takes around 1 hour for the body to disintegrate and break down one unit of alcohol.

A unit is 10ml or 8g of alcohol, which is similar to a single metric of 40 percent whisky, half of a standard measure of red wine (175ml), or a third of a pint of 5-6 percent beer. It can be challenging to figure out the exact number of units in an alcoholic beverage, and it’s simple to lose track if you don’t record your drinks as you consume them.

If you have ever had a long night and worried about driving the next day, you have presumably calculated how much you drank and predicted when it would be safe to drive again. You may have also investigated ways to accelerate the process. You can take steps to make the morning after a night of drinking pleasant or to avoid being intoxicated in the first place.

Is There A Way To Sober Up Fast?

So you have consumed too much alcohol. It can occur to even the best of us.

Perhaps a potent cocktail sneaked up on you. Perhaps you drank too much too quickly, or perhaps you had one too many.

But how to sober up quickly?

The quest for the best or fastest way to sober up can be never-ending. There are numerous urban legends and secret recipes that profess to have remedied this issue. None is supported by science.

Ask any physician how to quickly sober up, and they will tell you the truth: It’s impossible.

Time is the sole factor that reduces the content of alcohol in the blood.

The great news is that you can take measures to avoid being too drunk and suffering from a severe hangover.

How To Sober Up Quickly From Alcohol

There isn’t anything a person can do to rapidly decrease their blood alcohol concentration (BAC). The liver requires time to filter waste products from the blood and eliminate alcohol from the body.

While these strategies may help an individual feel more alert, they do not speed up the elimination of alcohol from the blood, and hence do not reduce the BAC.

Even though a person cannot sober up faster, there are methods that may make them feel and appear soberer:

1. Caffeine

One method of “sobering up” that is sometimes advised by helpful friends is sipping a strong black coffee.

The caffeine in coffee can make you more awake and aware of your outer world, but it will not reduce your intoxication level. In addition, it contains potent anti-intoxicants that may lessen the serious nature of your alcohol-induced symptoms. Even so, caffeine can function as a diuretic, causing dehydration and prolonging the effects of a hangover.

2. Cold baths

Even though cold showers have no effect on reducing BAC levels, a  cold shower may make a person alert and awakened, but they will still have some effects of alcohol.

Some people mistakenly believe that taking a cold shower will make them feel stunned and lead them to lose consciousness. That being said, it’s better to inform someone before taking a shower in case something goes wrong.

3. Eating and drinking

It is often said in anecdotes that the best method to “digest the alcohol” is to “line the stomach” with food before you start drinking, to eat light meals throughout your drinking session, and to end off the night with some takeaway.

Food, particularly fatty meals like meat and cheese slows down the absorption of alcohol, but your body must eventually absorb the alcohol you have consumed. The sugar and other nutrients may have an effect on your brain chemistry to help you feel better, but eating only slows down the alcohol degradation process.

4. Sleep

Sleep is the best way to help a person sober up. Sleep lets time go by while the body rests and gets better. Additionally, it helps restore the body’s ability to eliminate alcohol.

The more rest a person is getting, the soberer they will feel since their liver will have more time to process the alcohol.

5. Exercise

Probably the last thing you should do while intoxicated! Raise your heart rate and sweat out the alcohol.

It is believed that exercise accelerates the metabolism, hence increasing the metabolism of alcohol and eliminating it through deeper lung breathing. Given the lack of credible information, it is prudent to presume that any change is minor.

6. Charcoal or Carbon capsules

Some proponents claim that charcoal or carbon capsules, which may be bought at health food shops, may aid with sobering up. However, no recent evidence supports this claim.

7. Enzyme tablets

What if swallowing a tablet quickly allowed any alcoholic to pass a DUI test? A team from the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science has developed an enzyme that includes oxidase to dissolve alcohol and a second enzyme to remove the hazardous waste that oxidase generates. 

The study, published in Nature Nanotechnology, reveals that the capsule metabolizes alcohol similarly to the liver. In a recent report, the author of the study Yunfeng Lu, Ph.D., a professor and researcher of chemical and biomolecular engineering states that with additional investigation, this discovery could be employed as a prophylactic or antidote for alcohol intoxication. In 4 hours, the therapy reduced the blood alcohol level by 45% in mice, as reported by Lu.

What Helps Sobering Up In The Morning

It is now the next morning, and you are paying the price.

Hangovers can be excruciating, but do not consume raw eggs blended with bacon fat since the internet claims it is a miraculous cure. It isn’t.

The majority of hangovers fade spontaneously within 24 hours. The best remedies for a hangover are time and relaxation, however, there are a few tips to sober up that you may follow to feel better in the morning:

  • Return to sleep. Sleep is one of the best ways to sober up. Sleeping while intoxicated is neither peaceful nor restorative, yet returning to sleep once sober can help alleviate a hangover.
  • Drinking more water and staying hydrated to counterbalance the dehydrating effect of alcohol is probably the fastest way to sober up naturally.
  • Use an over-the-counter medication, such as Tums, to treat stomach discomfort.
  • Take an over-the-counter pain medication for your headache. Avoid acetaminophen due to its liver-damaging effects.
  • Close the blinds and keep the light away from your eyes, or wear sunglasses. A hangover may cause light or sound sensitivity.
  • To increase your blood sugar without upsetting your stomach, choose bland foods like bread and crackers.
  • Caffeine consumption requires caution. Caffeine helps alleviate the drowsiness linked with hangovers, but it can also exacerbate an unsettled stomach.
  • Do not attempt to cure your hangover by consuming additional alcohol. This strategy, known as “hair of the dog,” may result in delayed symptoms rather than a cure. Even if drinking more alcohol momentarily alleviates or masks your symptoms, they will return as soon as you stop drinking. Ultimately, you may feel worse.

How Long Does It Take To Sober Up?

It takes anywhere from two to four hours or longer for the body to eliminate the alcohol from one serving. The greater the number of servings in a beverage, the longer you will have to sober up.

How long it takes to sober up depends on a number of factors, a few of which you can control and others of which you cannot:

How much did you drink? The more alcohol you consume, the longer it will take to eliminate it from your system.

With what did you consume it? Keeping hydrated by consuming water or diluting alcoholic beverages with ice helps delay the onset of alcohol’s effects.

Have you eaten? Consuming alcohol on an empty stomach can hasten the onset of intoxication.

What is your predetermined gender at birth? Alcohol affects men and women differently. Women experience the effects of alcohol more quickly and for a longer duration than males, even when they consume the very same amount and are roughly the same size.

Did you use any additional drugs? Mixing alcohol with pharmaceuticals or other substances (such as cocaine) can alter the effects of alcohol on the body and even cause hazardous reactions.

FAQs

What Is The Difference Between Sobering Up And Sobriety

 Sobriety differs from sobering up in that the former refers to a process that alcohol-dependent individuals undergo.

People sober up following a night of excessive drinking. Typically, they do not have an addiction or dependence on the substance.

People who enter sobriety, in contrast, do so because they wish to heal from alcohol addiction or abuse. There are numerous therapy options available to assist people in quitting their drinking habits.

What’s The Difference Between Sobering Up And Detoxing?

Detoxification is the medical word for the process by which the body removes toxins. In recovery groups, abstinence from drugs and alcohol means being sober. Detoxification may involve eliminating a specific substance from the body.

The time required to no longer feel intoxicated is referred to as “sobering up.” Remember that you can feel sober, as if you are not affected by a substance, but still fail a drug test like a breathalyzer. It is also possible to pass a breathalyzer yet fail a more advanced drug test and checks for more than just instant drunkenness.

Resource References:

  1. How to sober up fast: 11 ways that help. Medical News Today. MediLexicon International. Available at: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/321103.
  2. How to sober up fast & myths about sobering up. Alcohol Rehab Help. Available at: https://alcoholrehabhelp.org/addiction/effects/how-to-sober-up.
  3. 8 smart ways to sober up fast. The Healthy. Available at: https://www.thehealthy.com/addiction/drugs-alcohol/how-to-sober-up-fast.
  4. How to sober up (and 3 myths that won’t help), Healthline. Healthline Media. Available at: https://www.healthline.com/health/how-to-sober-up#what-to-do-in-the-morning.

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