Drink Without Getting Drunk

Edited by Train Wreck, Eng, VisiHow

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If you've ever wanted to drink alcohol without getting drunk, you know it's easier said than done. This is because the Blood Alcohol Level, or BAC, between feeling good and starting to be impaired is about 0.04%. This means that scientifically speaking, getting drunk happens from 0.08% BAC for most people. Based on that, the idea of drinking more and not getting drunk means feeling good at a BAC from 0.04%, but not actually being drunk.

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For those of you unfamiliar with what BAC is, it's a measure of alcohol in the bloodstream. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB)[1] sets the level of impairment at 0.08%, although there have been calls to lower it to 0.05%. It's also of note that some people can show signs of impairment with a BAC as low as 0.01%. With all of this in mind, we've set about testing some popular theories, and put together this wiki on how to drink without getting drunk.

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The Bakers Yeast Method

By far the most popular and oft cited method to drink without getting drunk is that of using baker's yeast. It was first patented by the late biochemist Ph.D. Joseph L. Owades, who also created a pill called Prequel® to prevent getting drunk[2]. While the actual pill itself is nowhere to be found these days, the method of using baker's yeast is still very much in use. The most well-known person to use this method is none other than the founder of the Boston Beer Co., which brews the well known beer Sam Adams. The method itself is simple, and requires the following ingredients:

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  1. 1
    One Tablespoon of Baker's Yeast.
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  2. 2
    A small amount of food, preferably a sugar-free yogurt.
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  3. 3
    Mix together and eat before drinking.
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While the results vary from person to person, and even Mr. Koch himself said that it took him some time to find the right proportions, he insists it works for him. Others claim it works for them, too. Of course, who but brew masters, bread bakers, and cake makers has baker's yeast?

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The Dilution Method

By far the simplest method to drink without getting drunk is to dilute the alcohol. Some people do this with watered down drinks, or low alcohol beverages, but there is another method. This method at a minimum involves simply drinking water between each glass of beer, mixed drink, wine, or shot. It works by making sure the body is fully hydrated, and also effectively lowering the BAC as a result of increased hydration. The science part of this is basically that more water in the bloodstream means a slightly lower BAC.

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In practice it works because for every drink consumed, a glass of water is consumed. Simple time and consumption ratios come into play here. One beer, followed by one water, means the person is spending roughly half an hour if they are drinking fast, or an hour if they are drinking at a relatively normal pace. As the body can process one drink per hour, this means that actually getting drunk is considerably more difficult.

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It's also possible to mix special beverages to drink, in lieu of water. These can include things that help the body to better process and metabolize alcohol, such as honey. One great recipe for this is a homemade ginger drink. It works like this:

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  1. 1
    Get a small empty water bottle.
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  2. 2
    Fill it with a concentrate of ginger drink.
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  3. 3
    Mix the concentrate with regular water.
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  4. 4
    Enjoy a nice non-alcoholic beverage between alcoholic drinks.
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  5. 5
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The Fructose Method

It's no secret in the scientific community that some bats like to get drunk. What is a bit of a secret is that after they're drunk, they like to consume fruits to help metabolize the alcohol. In fact, according to research reported in both the Oxford Journals[3] and studies conducted in Israel, at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, by biologist Francisco Sanchez, fructose actually lessens the unpleasant feelings associated with drinking too much alcohol or being hungover.

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In simple terms, it works like this...

  1. 1
    Alcohol enters the bloodstream.
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  2. 2
    The liver begins to break down the alcohol.
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  3. 3
    This produces acetaldehyde, which is what makes you feel so bad when drinking.
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  4. 4
    Then you consume fructose, from fruit or honey.
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  5. 5
    The body considers fructose just as bad as alcohol.
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  6. 6
    This slows down the process of alcohol breakdown.
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  7. 7
    That process lowers the acetaldehyde, making you feel better.
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  8. 8
    Combine with drinking water, and you'll drink less without getting drunk.
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Now, to add some more science to this, as it's hotly disputed and often incorrectly cited, fructose or honey can lower your BAC by up to 80%. The South African Medical Journal (SAMJ)[4] conducted a study that was published way back in November of 1982. In that study it was demonstrated that blood alcohol concentration, or BAC, was significantly lower in those participants who had been administered fructose as compared to those who had not. However, it should be noted that the reduction was not a fixed 80%. Differences in the people participating, their ethnicities, and other medical or genetic factors obviously cause significant variations. Still, it makes for interesting research, and is something you should consider when trying to drink without getting drunk.

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The Smaller Glass Method

Perhaps the most basic and simple way to drink alcohol without getting drunk is to use a smaller glass. Now, while this may seem absurd, there's actually some science behind it. When everyone has a full glass, there's an incentive for each person to drink the same amount. However, that same amount is perceived differently by each person.

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Therefore, half of a 16oz glass is not the same thing as half of an 8oz glass -- but visually speaking, half is still half. So your friend might drink 8oz, or half of his glass, while you drink 4oz, or half of your glass. You've both had half in this case. A variation of this method reportedly used by professional drinkers, is to consume a lower alcohol beverage. This means drinking something with less alcohol. For example, if a 16oz drink has 8% alcohol by volume, then choose a different 16oz drink that only has 4% alcohol by volume.

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You'll remember our discussion on BAC at the beginning of this article, where we discussed the fact that the spot between feeling good and being mentally impaired was just 0.04% BAC. Based on that, and the fact that your body metabolizes one alcoholic drink per hour, just splitting your one drink across two glasses, and drinking them more slowly, will let you maintain that 'one drink per hour' sweet spot. If you want to keep that 0.04% level, but not get drunk, then start off with a full drink, and then switch to half portions, or lower alcohol beverages.

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Tips and Suggestions

  • If you're drinking mixed drinks, then have a non-alcoholic drink in between. The mix process is the same, but the cost is usually 25% to 50% less.
  • For beer drinkers, keep in mind that many bars offer non-alcoholic beer. In fact, some alcohol free beers are considered to be quite good, with the New York Post[5] listing a range of non-alcoholic wines, beers, and other beverages that taste just as good as the real thing.
  • Don't forget that a big part of drinking without getting drunk includes eating. Make sure you eat a good meal before drinking alcohol. It will help you feel better, and lessen the overall impact of alcohol on your system.
  • Always drink responsibly, and never drink and drive. Even if you've only had one drink, you should not drive or operate machinery. It's always better to take a taxi or let someone else do the heavy lifting.

References on How Drink Without Getting Drunk

  1. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB)
  2. Reference to Ph.D. Joseph Owades
  3. Oxford Journals
  4. Sough African Medical Journal
  5. Non-Alcoholic Beverages
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See more related tutorials: Treat Alcohol Poisoning, Drink on Antibiotics, Drink Alcohol and Exercise, Get Rid of Alcohol Breath, Be a Designated Driver, Sleep After Drinking, DUI Fines, Drink Responsibly, Determine If You Have Alcohol Poisoning, Eat Before You Drink Alcohol, Get Help with a Drinking Problem, and Drink Alcohol.

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Recent edits by: Eng, Train Wreck

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