How to flush alcohol out of your system? That’s a question that millions of people would love a good answer to.
We’ve all experienced the effects of drinking too much alcohol the night before, and while alcohol is legal, you can get into all kinds of trouble if your blood alcohol concentration is still too high the next day.
No one wants to stagger into work trying to hide the fact they’re still drunk or suffering through a ferocious hangover, no one wants to risk a roadside breathalyzer test, and no one wants to fail an employment or probation alcohol test.
So what can you do when you’ve had too much to drink and you want to get that alcohol out of your system? Is there any way to speed up the alcohol elimination process?
Let’s find out. In this article, we’ll look at how your body processes alcohol, how long alcohol stays in your system, what you can do to feel better when you’re hungover if you can do anything to flush alcohol out of your system, and what blood alcohol level will fail an alcohol test.
How To Flush Alcohol Out Of Your System – Is It possible?
This is the question that everyone wants an answer to – how quickly can you flush alcohol out of your system?
You’ve put too much alcohol into your body and now you want to get that alcohol out. Fast. Can you flush alcohol out of your system with water? Are there home remedies to flush alcohol out of your system? Will a detox drink work?
Unfortunately, there really isn’t a lot you can do to remove alcohol from your system. Your body isn’t like a clogged pipe that you can flush through with water, once you drink alcohol, your body has to metabolize it and then eliminate it, and that process takes time.
If there was a way to flush alcohol out of the body quickly, that method would be in use in hospital emergency departments to treat people with alcohol poisoning.
But all hospitals can do is carry out a stomach pump to remove any alcohol that hasn’t already entered the bloodstream, provide a saline drip to counter dehydration, and offer other supportive care.
How Your Body Processes Alcohol
Your body doesn’t need to use digestive enzymes to break alcohol down because alcohol molecules are already tiny and can pass into your bloodstream with ease, which is why you can get drunk so quickly.
When you drink alcohol, a small amount of alcohol is absorbed into your bloodstream straight away through the membranes in your mouth. The rest goes into your stomach. From there it passes into your small intestine where it quickly enters your bloodstream.
The more alcohol in your bloodstream the more pronounced its effects will be.
At a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.05% – 0.08% inhibitions are lowered and judgment is affected.
At 0.08% – 0.15% BAC, you can feel nauseous, your reactions are slower, balance and coordination are impaired, speech is slurred and eyesight will be affected.
Physical reactions are much worse when you’re BAC reaches 0.15% – 0.30%, then you’ll need help to walk, you’ll be lethargic and prone to falling asleep, you can develop breathing difficulties, you may lose control of your bladder, and you could lose consciousness.
If your BAC goes over 0.30% you risk falling into a coma and death is a real possibility.
It’s easy to get carried away and drink a large amount, especially if you’re drinking strong spirits, but your body can only process a small amount of alcohol each hour.
Some of the alcohol will pass out of your system without being metabolized. Roughly 10% of the alcohol you drink is eliminated via urination, breathing, and sweating.
The rest has to pass through your liver, where it’s broken down into substances your body can process and get rid of.
If your liver is healthy, you can process and eliminate the alcohol in one standard drink in about two hours.
One standard drink contains 0.6 fluid ounces or 14 grams of ethanol (pure alcohol). The following measures are examples of standard drinks:
- 12 ounces of beer (5% alcohol content)
- 8 ounces of malt liquor or strong beer (7% alcohol content)
- 5 ounces of wine (12% alcohol content)
- 5 ounces or 1 shot of distilled spirits (40% alcohol content)
How Long Does Alcohol Stay In Your System
The time you’ll have to wait before you’re sober will depend on how much alcohol you consumed, your biological sex, your weight, your age, and your liver health.
But in general, it takes your body 2 hours to process each standard unit of alcohol.
For example, if you drink 4 regular beers between 8 pm and midnight, your body will need 8 hours to eliminate the alcohol. Your body starts processing alcohol soon after you start drinking, so you should be sober by 4 am or 5 am.
If you took a shot with each beer, then the elimination time will be much longer because you’ve got an additional 4 units of alcohol to process. In this case, you’ll still have alcohol onboard until 12 noon or 1 pm.
To find out what your blood alcohol concentration is likely to be, you can use an online calculator to work out your level. You’ll need to know how many drinks you had to get an accurate estimate from a BAC calculator like the one at alcohol.org.
Remember this is only a rough estimate and if there’s any chance that you’ll face an alcohol test if you go to work or need to drive, err on the side of caution and add another hour or two to be safe.
See Also: What Is The Temperature Of Pee For A Drug Test?
Can Drinking Water Help You Pass An Alcohol Test?
Unfortunately, the answer to that question is no. The only thing that can help you pass an alcohol test is time. Water will rehydrate you and help get rid of your hangover but water cannot speed up alcohol elimination.
Several testing methods are used to detect alcohol use and they have different detection windows. The only testing method that water could have an effect on is a urine test and even then it won’t be a helpful effect.
Many people believe that drinking a large amount of water can dilute urine and make the alcohol concentration in urine low enough to pass a test, but labs test for diluted urine samples and if your urine creatinine level, pH level, and specific gravity are outside normal limits, you’ll fail.
Alcohol Testing Methods
Blood test – A standard blood test can detect alcohol for around 6 hours after your last drink. A PEth blood test that looks for the biomarker phosphatidylethanol can detect alcohol for up to 4 weeks.
Urine test – The usual detection window for alcohol on standard urine tests is 12 to 24 hours after your last drink depending on your level of alcohol consumption.
More advanced EtG urine tests which look for Ethyl Glucuronide can detect alcohol for up to 5 days.
Saliva test – Alcohol can be picked up in saliva for up to 24 hours after your last drink.
Breath test – Alcohol will show on a breathalyzer for up to 24 hours after your last drink.
Hair test – A hair test has the longest detection window and any alcohol use over the last 90 days will show up on a hair follicle test.
What BAC Level Will Fail An Alcohol Test?
The blood alcohol concentration level that results in a failed test will depend on the level set by the organization requesting the test.
If you’re a truck driver, bus driver, or any other safety-sensitive transportation worker taking a Department of Transportation alcohol test, your BAC must be below 0.02%.
Otherwise, if you’re stopped by the police for a roadside breath test, a BAC of 0.08% or over will result in an arrest. A lower BAC of 0.05% to 0.07% could also lead to a DUI if other signs of impairment are present.
Probation alcohol testing may use a breathalyzer to test sobriety and different BAC levels are set depending on the state.
If you’re not allowed to use any alcohol at all, then a PEth blood test or a urine EtG test can be used and those won’t detect a level of alcohol, they just show that alcohol has been consumed.
What Can You Do To Ease A Hangover?
Dehydration is one of the main reasons that you feel so awful when you’re hungover, and countering the dehydration helps to relieve headaches, brain fog, shakiness, and nausea. Drinking water is obviously going to be essential, but when you’re dehydrated, you also need to replace electrolytes – sodium, potassium, and calcium.
If you’ve got a bottle of multivitamins and minerals in your cupboard, then swallowing a couple with a large glass of water will help you feel better faster. Replacing lost fluid as quickly as possible is the goal but if you can’t face a big glass of water in one go, then keep on taking small sips.
Drinking a can of Coke can also replenish sodium and potassium, as can various sports drinks like Gatorade. Some people even find that a carbonated beverage is easier to drink than still water when they feel nauseated.
Once your dehydration is taken care of, the best thing you can do is go back to bed and sleep, but if that’s not possible, try to eat something.
Scrambled eggs and toast, sliced banana and natural yogurt, oatmeal, crackers, or a smoothie are all easy on the stomach and will give you the energy to help beat your fatigue.
It’s best to avoid coffee, because it could make you feel worse. Coffee can increase your blood pressure which will only make a pounding headache pound harder, and since caffeine is a diuretic, it won’t help you stay hydrated.
If you’ve got some fresh root ginger on hand or someone can get some for you, nothing beats nausea like nibbling on fresh ginger. Candied ginger or ginger and lemon tea can also help if you can’t get fresh ginger.
Another excellent hangover remedy is vitamin C or ascorbic acid. Most people don’t consume enough vitamin C as it is and alcohol consumption lowers vitamin C levels even further. Taking several grams of vitamin C will replenish your vitamin C levels and help you combat the toxic effects alcohol has on your body.
There’s nothing you can do to speed up alcohol elimination. Once alcohol is in your bloodstream, your body can only process and eliminate a certain amount each hour.
The more alcohol you drink, the more processing time your body needs. Use a BAC calculator to find out your estimated alcohol level based on the amount you had to drink.
There are ways to ease hangover symptoms which mostly include drinking plenty of fluids, and replacing electrolytes, but once again, time is the key factor.
Nibbling on fresh ginger root will help to reduce nausea and taking several grams of vitamin C will help protect you from the toxic effects of alcohol.
Previous Entry: Drinking Night Before Pre Employment Drug Test
Robert Eric (a lover of Cats and Dogs) is the co-founder of HireFelonsJobs. In our search for a better life, after… A platform was created for the purpose of easing the search for ex-convicts.