Alcohol abuse is an increasing issue, growing at an alarming rate. While many people (especially young people) are discovering the relaxing and intoxicating benefits of drinking, they’ll more than likely learn about their alcohol limit the hard way—in the form of a hangover. But what happens when it goes too far? Or rather, how much is too much?
What Is My Alcohol Limit?
The amount of alcohol you can drink entirely depends on the person. Simply put, anyone can out-drink a baby. Many factors go into someone’s alcohol limit—mainly their size.
Someone who is rather tall and heavy can usually hold their alcohol better than someone who is smaller. In fact, their size directly accounts for their BAC (Blood Alcohol Content). It would take more alcohol for someone who is large to achieve the same BAC as someone who is smaller.
Does that mean they can hold their alcohol better, too?
Another factor is experience. If you’ve been drinking for quite some time—let’s say 20 years—your alcohol limit might be much higher. At least, it won’t affect you as strongly as it would someone else.
Let’s take two large men and assume one is a habitual drinker and the other has had little to no alcohol throughout his entire life. They both go to the same party, have the same drinks and the same activity. They would both show that their BAC is the same…but they are acting very differently.
Which leads to the main point of alcohol limit…
Alcohol tolerance levels for large people
What’s too much alcohol? Again, it’s a bit complicated, but the clearest answer we have for that is water solubility. Let’s go back to those two larger men and let’s say they’re rather fat and not so muscular.
Now, let’s say there are two other large men—this time, they are bodybuilders with very low amount of body fat. Which one will get drunk faster?
The bodybuilders, despite having the most mass will become drunk the fastest. In fact, they might feel the effects of alcohol quicker than anyone else. That’s because certain tissues in our bodies like muscles are richer in water, whereas fat is more of a “dry” tissue.
Water absorbs alcohol quickly, pulling it through the muscles and other tissues.
Alcohol tolerance levels for regular drinkers
Once again, going back to those two men—one’s a regular drinker and one isn’t. He’s obviously the one not getting drunk as fast as the other less experienced one. Why is that?
It’s a little more complex than just “getting used to the feeling of being intoxicated,” although that may have something to do with it.
The answer is actually pretty awesome, because it shows just how adaptable and smart our bodies are. As it turns out, the more alcohol we drink, the more our bodies adapt to the process of breaking down alcohol.
The process of metabolizing one drink usually takes about an hour and a half for an infrequent drinker. For someone who drinks regularly, however, that time is cut much shorter. That means, not only do they need more alcohol to get drunk, but their inebriation doesn’t last as long.
If you take a group of people and send them to Downtown Las Vegas to have some drinks, nobody will be getting drunk at the same pace. Everybody is different, everybody has different experiences and body fat so, no matter what, if you have the same amount of alcohol, it’s hard to determine who will win the race.
In any case, it’s important to drink responsibly and in a safe and secure environment, especially if you’re not sure of your alcohol limit.