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Digital Subscriptions > Healthy Magazine > December/January 2018 > WHAT HAPPENS WHEN I… DRINK ALCOHOL?


From the first glass to the groggy next day, here’s the effect drinking has on your body and mind
Photographs iStock

I take a sip – then what?

As soon as the alcohol hits your stomach it begins to be absorbed into your bloodstream – usually within 20 minutes. About 20 per cent is absorbed via the stomach, the rest in your small intestine. ‘The rate depends on the strength of the alcohol and whether or not you’ve eaten recently – food slows absorption,’ says GP Dr Rob Hicks. Your blood alcohol concentration (BAC), which determines the extent to which you notice effects, rises only if you take in alcohol faster than your body can process it. ‘This happens at a rate of one unit of alcohol an hour,’ says Dr Hicks. ‘Stick to that and you shouldn’t get drunk. But if you’re up late overdoing it, don’t bank on being safe to drive the next morning.’

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About Healthy Magazine

Celebrate a more meaningful Christmas this year with our special Christmas issue of Healthy. Inside you'll find ways to enjoy the big day that are more conscious, stress-free and will make you feel happier. We have recipes for a vegetarian Christmas feast so delicious that everyone will want some! Our beauty section will get you looking your party best - naturally! Plus, how to spot if you're stressed, give up alcohol for a month, and ways to help you manage arthritis. Find out more in the brand new issue of Healthy!