How does drinking alcohol on an empty stomach affect the body?

Emilia Klapp
Nutrition & Dietetics
Both whether you have eaten and what you have eaten influence how quickly alcohol is absorbed into the bloodstream. Alcohol only can be processed at a certain rate by the liver; if more is ingested before the liver can metabolize it, it absorbs into the blood and organs, including the brain, causing intoxication. Slowing down the time it takes for the alcohol to become absorbed into the bloodstream helps the liver do its job. Some studies show that people who drank alcohol after a meal with fat, protein, and carbohydrates absorbed the alcohol about three times more slowly than when they drank the same amount on empty stomachs. The higher the fat content of a meal accompanying alcohol, the longer the absorption process takes.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.