Maybe you’ve had one drink too many. Perhaps you’ve had too many, too quickly!
Whatever the case, you need to sober up – pronto.
There are plenty of common misconceptions about ways to sober up on the Internet.
Unfortunately, once you’ve consumed the alcohol, there’s nothing you can do to offset the drunkenness.
For now, just sit tight and hope the hangover isn’t too awful. Thankfully, there are some things you can do to get you feeling more refreshed and alert. Read on to find out:
- The truth about sobering up quickly
- How alcohol impacts your body
- Some tricks to get you feeling more alert and awake
Let’s dive in.
The Truth: You Cannot Sober Up Quickly
Unfortunately, the reality is that there’s no magical cure to make you sober up fast.
Alcohol gets absorbed into your bloodstream through your stomach lining and small intestine.
You might’ve heard the common myth that you can get rid of the alcohol by throwing up.
However, this will only get rid of what’s in your stomach! If you’ve already consumed the alcohol, chances are it won’t help.
Drunkenness is measured through your blood alcohol concentration (BAC). This refers to how much alcohol is in your blood.
You’ll begin to feel the effects of alcohol around ten minutes after drinking. Some factors (such as your weight and whether you’ve eaten recently) impact how quickly the alcohol gets absorbed.
However, once it’s in your blood, there’s nothing you can do to get it out!
Any doctor will tell you it’s impossible to sober up faster. Your liver needs time to filter your blood and remove the alcohol from your system. This can take several hours depending on how much you’ve had to drink.
However, there are some things you can do to reduce the effects of alcohol. We’ve outlined some tips in the following list to help you feel more awake and alert.
They won’t magically speed up the process of reducing your BAC, but they might help you appear more sober.
The easiest way to sober up is to go to sleep. It takes time for your body to process the alcohol, and sleeping will help your body rest and recover.
Although you might have a restless sleep, it’s a good way to wait it out.
How to Feel Sober
Please note that the following suggestions won’t lower your blood alcohol content. However, they might help you feel more awake and alert after drinking!
Drink water or hydrating beverages
Ever wake up after drinking and find that your mouth’s as dry as a desert? That’s thanks to alcohol’s dehydrating properties.
One way you can combat this is to drink a full glass of water for each standard drink you have.
Not only does this rehydrate you, but it also helps you space out your alcohol consumption. This gives your body time to process the alcohol and flush out harmful toxins.
It won’t lower your BAC, but it’ll help you feel more refreshed. There’s also the benefit of reducing your hangover symptoms in the morning.
Eat light snacks or a balanced meal
Having a balanced meal before you start drinking is a good way to slow the absorption of alcohol in your bloodstream.
It helps line your stomach, making it harder for the alcohol to absorb into your blood. Fatty foods in particular do the best job.
If it’s too late and you’re already drunk, eating food won’t sober you up. Once the alcohol is in your blood, the food won’t do much to slow it down.
However, eating a light snack while drinking can still be a good idea. It’ll replenish your energy and give you a break from the alcohol. Think of it as a pitstop to help fuel you up for the rest of the night.
Consume caffeine in moderation (like coffee or tea)
Another way you can minimize the effects of one drug is by taking another! Caffeine, such as energy drinks, coffee, and tea, can help you feel more alert while drinking.
This is because caffeine is a stimulant, and alcohol is a depressant. The caffeine will help mask the depressing effects of the alcohol. This gives you more energy and alertness, making you appear sober.
However, proceed with caution if you plan to keep drinking. While caffeine will help you ‘feel’ more sober, it doesn’t remove the alcohol from your blood.
This makes it dangerous to keep drinking, as you won’t feel as drunk as you are. If you go back to drinking, you risk alcohol poisoning and other harmful side effects.
Take a cold shower
Did someone turn off the hot water? While taking a cold shower won’t reduce your blood alcohol content, it might help wake you up.
Feeling groggy is a common symptom of being drunk, and having a cold shower will help you feel more alert. Also, showering when drunk feels nice.
Just remember that the cold water might come as a shock to your body. Make sure someone’s aware of what you’re doing in case you give yourself an injury!
Use aromatherapy with refreshing scents like peppermint or citrus
There’s no evidence to suggest that aromatherapy can help aid your hangover. It also certainly won’t remove the alcohol from your system. However, what it can do is help manage the side effects of the alcohol.
For example, peppermint is good for combating nausea, which is a common effect of drinking.
The refreshing scents can also help you feel more alert and awake, which makes you feel more sober in the short term.
Get some fresh air
Another way you can feel more sober is to take a step outside. Whether you’re at a party or a bar, taking a breather outside will help ground you and make you feel more sober.
Take a minute to look up at the sky. Stare at the stars or observe people on the street!
This won’t get rid of the alcohol, but it might make you feel better. It’ll help recalibrate your body and make you feel more awake.
Practice deep breathing exercises
Alcohol can impair your senses and make you feel out of control. Have you ever tried walking in a straight line while drunk? You get the idea!
One way you feel more in control is by practicing breathing exercises. Take deep breaths to help calm your heart rate. It’ll also help you feel more alert.
Of course, this won’t sober you up – but it’ll help you feel a lot better.
Engage in physical activity or exercise
Fancy a drunken jog? There’s a common myth that you can sweat out the alcohol. Unfortunately, there’s no research to prove this.
However, getting some physical exercise can help wake you up and feel more active.
If you’ve been pre-loading before hitting the bar, try walking some of the ways. This will help you shake off the alcohol and get you sobered up for your next drink.
Rest or take a short nap
Sleeping is the best way to sober up. If you don’t have the luxury of tucking in for the night, try to take a short power nap. Even lying down for a bit can help you feel better.
Taking a nap gives your body some time to process the alcohol, and gives you a break from drinking. Even sitting in a quiet room or leaning against a wall might help you rest up.
This won’t reduce your BAC, but it might give you more energy and allow some time to pass, which will help sober you up.
Wait it out patiently; time is the most effective way to sober up
Time is the best cure for any ailment affecting your body, including drunkenness. Your liver processes around one standard drink per hour.
A standard drink is equivalent to either one glass of wine, one beer, or one shot.
So the best way to sober up is to wait it out. Get a good night’s sleep or watch a movie and let the alcohol wear off. In the meantime, drink plenty of water to combat dehydration and inevitable hangover.
It’s important to understand that there’s no magical cure for drunkenness. Drinking water or eating food won’t miraculously remove the alcohol from your system. Time is the best healer.
However, you can try some of the tips mentioned here to help feel better in the short term. You can also help reduce the effects of alcohol by drinking in moderation.
Remember to drink responsibly!