Does alcohol affect men and women the same?
The short answer is no, women are affected by alcohol more rapidly because they tend to have a higher proportion of body fat than men. Because fat cannot absorb alcohol, women may tend to have a higher concentration of alcohol in the blood after consuming the same number of drinks as a man of similar height and weight.
Women also have less of a gastric or stomach enzyme (dehydrogenase) that metabolizes or breaks down alcohol before it enters the bloodstream. As a result, women may absorb up to nearly 30% more alcohol into their bloodstream than men of the same height and weight who drink the same amount of alcohol.
Normally women are shorter and weigh less than men, and this leads to an even greater concentration of alcohol in the blood. Therefore, when women of average size consume one drink, it will have almost the same effect as two drinks do for the average-size man.
If women eat little or skip food entirely, that compounds the effects of drinking alcohol. Hormone changes during the menstrual cycle can also affect alcohol metabolism adversely, increasing the impact of alcohol.
Below is a Blood Alcohol Table showing the estimated blood alcohol level for men and women for various number of drinks consumed.
There are a number of things both men and women can do to avoid problems with alcohol:
•Know your limit.
•Eat food while you drink.
•Sip your drinks don’t chug them down.
•Don't participate in "chugging" contests or other drinking games.
•Accept a drink only when you really want one.
•Skip a drink and alternate alcohol and non-alcohol drinks.
•Keep active; don't just sit around and drink.
•Beware of exotic combination drinks with fancy names.
•Use alcohol carefully in connection with pharmaceuticals, read the label most labels will warn you whether or not to drink alcohol with the particular medication.
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