How to Get Sober Fast

 In Addiction

There may be different definitions that you may think of when you hear the term “sober”.  When many people speak of sobriety, they treat it as if it is punishment, or think of it in terms of what it is not: the opposite of being drunk, the opposite of being intoxicated, the opposite of ‘having a good time’. However, a life pursuing sobriety actually has so much more to offer.  While true that pursuing sobriety requires making a commitment to yourself, it truly opens a door to improving your health, to achieving your future goals and plans, and believing that you no longer need to rely on external means of regulating your emotions. 

Getting sober fast after a night of alcohol and overindulgence, on the other hand, entails a whole other combination of things. In fact, if you do a quick search on the internet, you will be bombarded with many suggestions and “get sober fast” recommendations from taking a cold shower to drinking lots of water, to exercising in order to sweat the alcohol out of the bloodstream.  However, before you try out any of the tips, you first need to understand how alcohol works in the body. For starters, drinking too much can weaken your immune system, take a toll on your liver, damage your heart, and additionally put you at significant risk for various cancers. However regardless of how much alcohol you consume, the body can only metabolize a certain amount and eliminate it from the bloodstream per hour, and this is what leads to one’s experience of intoxication. 

While the time one takes to metabolize alcohol can vary widely, without careful attention to intake levels, alcohol is broken down more slowly than it is absorbed, leading to an experience of drunkenness.  Researchers do believe that some people can drink more alcohol than others and that some drinkers seem to be at a higher risk for developing these problems based on how the body breaks down and eliminates alcohol.  There are factors that determine how much alcohol a person can metabolize in an hour, such as the size of the liver, body weight, genetic makeup, medications, diet, and activity level. Research has also shown that women absorb and metabolize alcohol differently from men because a larger percentage of alcohol reaches the blood before being metabolized. The effects of metabolites produced from alcohol consumption are what produces the most unpleasantness and result in hangover symptoms like dehydration, stomach upsets, sleep disruption, fatigue, weakness, mood disturbances, and alcohol withdrawal syndrome among others. 

While dehydration symptoms can be relieved with copious water intake or sports drinks to replace electrolytes, only time, a healthy diet, and exercise can reverse the toxic effects of alcohol on the central nervous system and gastrointestinal system. 

Some of the other recommendations that may help you get sober fast:

  • Sleep is the best way to sober up as it gives the liver the chance to metabolize the alcohol
  • Drinking coffee will not break down alcohol in the body, but it will help you feel alert (the same goes with taking a cold shower)
  • Drinking plenty of water and fruit juices that contain fructose and vitamin B and C can help with flushing toxins from the body and mitigating dehydration
  • Eating before, during, and after drinking can help slow the absorption of alcohol into the bloodstream
  • Exercising may also help metabolize alcohol more quickly
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