Ever notice when you’re out on the town or even just enjoying a few glasses of wine with friends, you get drunker than your friends? Or maybe you think your tolerance is a lot better than it actually is. Here are a few reasons why your friend’s tolerance is much better (or worse) than yours.
- Age – The older you are, the less you’re able to handle your liquor as the body tends to have less water. As a result, alcohol builds up at a higher concentration. Organs like your brain might feel the effects faster as well.
- Gender – Women tend to feel the effects of alcohol more than men. On average, women have a higher percentage of body fat and since alcohol isn’t absorbed well by fatty tissue, it leads to a higher concentration of alcohol in the blood.
- Size – This might be a no-brainer, but the bigger you are, the more alcohol you can consume before you feel the effects of alcohol. A higher BMI and amount of plasma in the body affects the ability of people who are bigger to consume more.
- Mixers – According to a study, your blood alcohol level will increase faster if your drink is mixed with diet soda compared to regular soda.
- Food – Eating low-fat or fat-free foods can affect how drunk you get. Foods with a higher fat content take a longer time to leave your stomach and can slow the rate at which your body absorbs alcohol.
- Ethnicity – Unfortunately, certain ethnicities lack the enzyme that metabolizes alcohol, which affects the way their bodies can break down alcohols. Asians notoriously lack this enzyme. Native Americans also metabolize alcohol much slower than other ethnicities.
- Perception – Believe it or not, if you want to get drunk, you might feel drunker. In studies, people began to act drunk when they were told they were given alcohol (they weren’t actually).
- Glass shape – If you prefer to drink from a curved glass, it’s more likely you’ll end up drunk under the table. Weird huh? Researchers found that drinking speed increases by 60% when the alcohol beverage is in a curved or fluted glass vs. a straight glass. It may be because it’s harder to tell when you’ve drunk half way in a curved glass and causes you to drink faster.
- Health – if you’re on any medications like antihistamines, mixing them with alcohol can cause you to feel more sedated. If you lost sleep the night before drinking, the alcohol might also affect your feelings of exhaustion and you’ll feel less alert.