What Affects Your Blood Alcohol Content? (Part 3)

More Blood Alcohol Content Factors

This segment will wrap up our three part series on the many factors that affect your blood alcohol content when you are drinking. In the previous two sections we covered the first eight factors. Including a number of obvious ones like age and body type, and a few less commonly known items, like carbonation and diabetes. Moving on, we are going to tackle the last five items on the list.


Food slows the rate at which alcohol is absorbed into your bloodstream. Digestion of solid food is naturally a slower process. As a result, people who eat food before they drink will have a lower blood alcohol content (BAC) than those who drink on an empty stomach. This is especially true for foods that take longer for the body to break down, like proteins and complex carbohydrates, and foods that have a high absorption rate, like bread.


You may have heard that women are more affected by alcohol than men. This is true, and no, it’s not because alcohol discriminates. Alcohol is very water soluble. Women have, on average, a lower water content in their bodies than men. As a result, they tend to reach a higher blood alcohol content than men, when consuming alcohol at the same rate. In addition, women have a lower quantity of a specific enzyme in the digestive system that breaks down alcohol.


There are a wide variety of medications, both over-the-counter and prescription, that react negatively with alcohol. Simple, everyday medications like painkillers and allergy pills can react with alcohol. They can make you even more drowsy. Even sometimes enhancing the effects of the alcohol.

In the case of prescription medications, the reactions can sometimes be so dangerous that people have lost their lives. If you are taking any medications, be sure to check with your doctor before consuming any alcohol.


Each person’s metabolism is different. And when it comes to your “metabolic tolerance”, which dictates how your body processes alcohol, there is no standard that applies to everyone. Because each person is different, doctors advise that each person drink slowly and carefully monitor how long their body takes to process each drink, before moving on to the next one.

Rate of Consumption:

This one is pretty much a given – the faster you drink, the drunker you get. In other words, the faster you ingest alcohol, the faster your blood alcohol content will rise.

Hopefully this list has been helpful for you. We want you to make smart, safe choices when drinking. If, however, you end up needing a drunk driving attorney after all, call us immediately. We can help.

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