Alcohol & Drug Counseling, Assessment, & Prevention Services

Washington State University ADCAPS

What influences the rate of absorption?

How fast alcohol is absorbed from your stomach and intestine into your bloodstream will determine how quickly you will feel intoxicated. This rate of absorption is determined by a number of things that you may already know about:

Concentration: The higher the concentration of alcohol in your beverage, the faster it will be absorbed into your blood stream. For example, shots of liquor are absorbed faster than a bottle of beer. Also, beverages with effervescence will trigger the muscle between the stomach and the small intestine, called the pylorus sphincter, to open and thus will reach the small intestine quickly resulting in faster intoxication.

Food: When you have eaten recently and there is still food in your stomach, the movement of alcohol from the stomach to the small intestine will be delayed and thus absorption of alcohol will be slower than if you are drinking on an empty stomach. Foods high in protein slow are the most effective in slowing the absorption rate.


Rate: The faster you drink, the faster the alcohol will get into your

Harm Reduction

Contact WSU Counseling Services at 509 335-4511.

From the NIAAA Alcohol Alert Quarterly Bulletins
From the CDC - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention FAQS at Alcohol and Public Health

ADCAPS - Alcohol & Drug Counseling, Assessment, & Prevention Services, WSU Counseling Services, 280 Lighty Student Services Building. Washington State University, Pullman WA 99164-1065 | (509) 335-4511 |