Health

How long does alcohol stay in your system


(Picture: Getty)

Recovering from a hangover isn’t the only thing to worry about after a heavy night of drinking.

If you want to drive, or in many workplaces, you need to make sure that there’s no alcohol in your system.

Scientists have worked out how long it takes for your body to process alcohol, which can give you a good indication to when you can resume normal service.

(Picture: Getty)

As a general rule, your body takes one hour to process one unit of alcohol.

However, you should’t follow this to the letter, as it can change based on a number of factors.

Your weight, sex, age, and metabolism can all make this timeframe go up or down.

As you’ll be aware if you’ve ever had a pint on an empty stomach, what you eat can change things too.

One unit also doesn’t mean one drink as many people still believe.



How much is one unite

According to the NHS a unit is as follows:

  • 2.1 units in a standard glass (175ml) of average-strength wine (12%)
  • 3 units in a large glass (250ml) of average-strength wine (12%)
  • 2 units in a pint of low-strength lager, beer or cider (3.6%)
  • 3 units in a pint of higher-strength lager, beer or cider (5.2%)
  • 1 unit in a single measure of spirits (25ml)
(Picture: Getty)

So, if you have two large glasses of wine (3 x 2) that would take your body 6 hours to process.

If you want to drive the next day after drinking, you should always err on the side of caution and give plenty more time than the calculation allows.

The NHS recommends people should not drink more than 14 units a week.

Also, if you drink around 14, you’re advised to spread this out rather than binging it all in one evening.

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