At-Bristol home page Find out whats on At-Bristol How to get here, admission prices etc. At-bristol related news stories Shop Online Search this web site Contact us  
Alcohol home
Alcohol quiz
How alcohol works
Alcohol units
Alcohol & health
Alcohol & the law
Alcohol through time
Have your say
Alcohol trivia
Alcohol links
     
   

How alcohol affects us

The effects of alcohol can be felt between ten to twenty minutes after drinking, the effects can vary depending on a number of factors.

     
    Age and size
We all mature at different rates including liver development. Undeveloped livers work more slowly so alcohol isn't broken down as quickly. A bigger body will also contain more water, which dilutes the alcohol so the effects are smaller.
     
    Stomach contents
Eating food before drinking keeps the alcohol in the stomach where it is absorbed more slowly. This gives the liver more time to break the alcohol down .
     
    Volume and speed
The more you drink, the worse the effects, but also the faster you drink the faster the effects. Drinking faster than the liver can break down alcohol allows it to build up in the body.
     
   

Type of alcohol
Fizzy drinks and stronger drinks such as spirits, are absorbed more quickly. The bubbles in carbonated drinks can cause the valve between the stomach and intestine to open, sending the alcohol straight to the part of the body that absorbs it fastest.

     
    Tolerance
Regular drinkers build up a tolerance, while first time drinkers will feel the effects immediately.
     
    Gender
Females are more affected by alcohol than males as on average they are smaller with more body fat and less water in their body. As a result the concentration of alcohol is higher and they feel the effects sooner. Females may also find their reaction to drink is affected by hormone level changes occurring during their menstrual cycle.
     
    Mood
Alcohol will exaggerate whatever mood you are in. So if you're feeling down, there's only one way you're going to go - further down.
     
   

Freya’s story

Freya goes to a party after having a few drinks at home to ‘warm up’. She doesn’t bother eating before she goes. Find out what happens next.