How you drink matters!

The effects of alcohol beverages on your body depend on who you are, how you drink, and what you drink.

Most people who drink do so in a way that enhances their enjoyment of life and sociability of enjoying a drink with others. But there are others who may drink irresponsibly – occasionally or regularly – and create health and social problems for themselves and others. That’s why risk is not just a result of how much you drink, but also of when and how you drink.

Because people are different, what is “too much” may vary by individual. All of us must therefore make safe, legal, and responsible decisions about drinking or not drinking and the decision not to drink should always be respected.

What happened when you drink?

When you drink an alcohol beverage, it immediately begins to be absorbed into your bloodstream, partly from your stomach and more actively from your small intestine. When drinking alcohol beverages, adding water or other drinks without alcohol will dilute the alcohol in your stomach and will slow absorption. Eating food will also slow alcohol absorption.

However, while the rate of absorption may change depending on what you ate and what else you drank, you cannot stop the alcohol from entering your system.

Once the alcohol hits your bloodstream, it affects every organ and part of your body, including the brain—where the alcohol produces intoxication. The more you drink and the faster you drink, the more alcohol enters your blood. Blood alcohol concentration increases much faster when drinking on an empty stomach.

Alcohol acts as a diuretic, meaning that when your body breaks down alcohol, it triggers your body to remove water from your blood through your urine. That is why it is a good idea to drink water and other non-alcohol drinks along with your alcohol beverage to avoid dehydration. Dehydration contributes to the unpleasant effects of excessive drinking that are associated with a “hangover.” To decrease the risk of a hangover, make sure you get in the habit of drinking some water with every drink of an alcohol beverage.


Serving size matters!

The amount of alcohol in your drink is determined by the concentration of alcohol in the product you choose and the size of your drink.

Drink serving sizes differ widely by the local custom, occasion, glass size, and even depends on who does the pouring. You need to understand your pour for more responsible choices.

Evaluate your intake!