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The science behind the 1 drink per hour advice

Ever heard the advice - “you should have one drink per hour?” Where did this advice come from and does it have any basis in science? As it turns out - yes it does!

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Enzyme Production

Alcohol is processed differently by different people for many reasons, particularly due to the production of 2 key enzymes. 

For the sake of this argument, let’s assume the average rate of alcohol detoxification.

The liver is the primary organ responsible for the detoxification of alcohol. Liver cells on average produce the enzyme alcohol dehydrogenase which breaks down alcohol into ketones at a rate of 0.015g/100mL/hour (reduces BAC by 0.015 per hour).

For men, this is usually about a rate of one standard drink per hour. For women, it’s actually less.

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Sober-up Simulation

For the sake of this example, let’s look at a man named Kyle who ends his night with a BAC of 0.20. Kyle was drinking faster than recommended. How does he sober up?

12:00AM: Kyle is in bed, dizzy and disoriented (BAC @ .200)

1:00AM: Kyle is nauseous, unable to sleep (BAC @ .185)

2:00AM: Kyle is still very restless (BAC @ .170)

3:00AM Kyle is sleeping now, but not very well (BAC @ .155)

4:00AM Kyle is finally asleep (BAC @ .140)

7:00AM Kyle gets up with a headache (BAC @ 0.095)

8:00AM Kyle orders food, but orders too much because his judgment is still impaired (BAC @ 0.08)

9:00AM Kyle watches a TV show but misses what’s going on because his mind is still foggy (BAC @ 0.065)

10:00AM Kyle still hasn’t finished eating his food because he’s not hungry and has cottonmouth (BAC @ 0.05)

11:00AM Kyle opens up his phone to read an angry text from a friend who he embarrassed last night, but is still unable to focus on what he’s reading (BAC @ 0.035)

12:00PM Kyle’s head is starting to clear up (BAC @ 0.020)

1:00PM Kyle is starting to feel a bit better (BAC @ 0.005)

2:00PM Kyle is sober, but feeling some anxiety from the body finally starting to produce glutamine to catch up with the glutamine suppression of alcohol (BAC @ 0.00)

So if you drink alcohol fast enough to rack up a 0.20 BAC, it takes a total of 14 hours to get your BAC back to 0.00.

By sticking to 1 drink per hour, Kyle would have avoided that rough night and morning wasted.

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Natural ingredients & alcohol consumption:

7 Natural Ingredients to Help You Process Alcohol

So… what can you do now that you are armed with all this knowledge?

While there aren’t any magical solutions for curing a hangover (come on, science!) there are some known natural ingredients that can help:

8 Natural Products Containing These Ingredients: