PDA

View Full Version : Alcohol tolerance



NedLudd
10-04-2015, 01:17 AM
I got into a discussion at work after a coworker mentioned watching a video where someone chugged a bottle of Hennessy, either 750ml or a liter, not sure. This is amazing to me, and it was to him as well, but our two coworkers from the Caribbean (Dominican Republic and Trinidad) just shrugged and said "so?". They claim that this isn't a big deal, and consuming that much (and more) is regular for where they're from. The claims from there got more and more exaggerated to the point where the Dominican was claiming he could drink 42 liters of beer (although he didn't specify the timeframe), but regardless of where fact parts from fiction, I'm willing to accept that these people can consume a lot more alcohol than I can. The Dominican claimed that they would eat an entire jar of olives before a night of drinking to keep going longer, which makes sense as it would put a lot of fat into your stomach to slow down the absorption of alcohol.

Regardless of all of that, I'm curious now about people's alcohol tolerance. Do you think you could chug a fifth of Hennessy and not get sent to the hospital? Or do you drink two beers and become beet red and start yelling a lot? My "I'm drunk and not having fun anymore" point is about 8-12 drinks typically, depending on the amount of time it's stretching over.

Spartan26
10-04-2015, 01:52 AM
I just heard someone from the Islands mention about the same thing.

My tolerance is pretty low, though I don't wish to drink myself to drunk anymore. Still, I'm concerned with how my stomach is going to feel the next day. When I know I'm going to be doing some drinking, like my bday or when I go home and meet up w/the fellas I grew up with, I'll actually have a drink or two like every other night for like a week to build up my tolerance.

If I'm home and have friends over to watch a game or movie or bbq, I may get up to four drinks. I like the taste of beer but idk if it's me getting older or the heaviness of microbrews but like part way through the 3rd one I'm ready to tap out. Not even buzzed, just a blah feeling in my stomach. In those cases anyway, I'll likely have a shot and two beers, just as the norm. That's with food and over the course of 3 hours or so.

I don't seem to get buzzed anymore. It used to be towards the end of my second stiff cocktail I'd fix myself i'd get a nice euphoric feeling. My diminishing marginal returns though was half way through my 3rd drink, so that wasn't any good. I'd feel like I was wasting alcohol by not finishing and then down it and then have indigestion when trying to sleep. I really should ease up on what all I'd put in a glass and then prolly best not to use a glass that once held a big gulp either.

I wonder if I went back to Miller Genuine Draft, like I loved so much in college, would my glory days return? With one buddy, we'd often come close to killing a case between us. We'd get about a dozen tacos from Taco Hell as well. When I was 30, I might get up to 8 drinks in one night. That would be me starting at happy hour and ending at midnight or last call. There was generally some other activity going on as well. Dancing, maybe. If I were to top five drinks now, it's almost a guarantee that 2 were shots.

Sir Caveat
10-04-2015, 01:56 AM
I think I'm at about the same tolerance level as you. I don't see why anybody would want to chug a fifth of Hennessy. I like to take the time to savor my drinks. I have overindulged at open bars. At the 8-12 point I'll get unsteady on my feet. That's not a sensation I like and I'll cut my self off at that point, if not earlier. Or as an alternative, I'll start alternating between water and alcoholic drinks.

Pan_Sonic_000
10-04-2015, 03:49 AM
Well, I used to do that kind of shit -- drink 750ml of whiskey or whatever. But even at my most insane partying phases with years of tolerance built up, I couldn't do it and remain on my feet. 2/3rd's of the way through, I'd be blotto with the spins and double vision. The last 1/3rd usually just pushed me over the edge into vomiting.

Aside from the fact that it's generally not a fun experience to do that, I found it significantly harder on my body once I hit my 30's. Depression, acid reflux, hangovers that lasted all day instead of until noon, brain fog...all kinds of problems. What was the point?

These days, I usually make a drink with three shots. That's plenty. And If I sip it over the course of an hour, I generally wind up in my sweet spot and can either have a few more to ride it out or stop and downshift into being sleepy. It's not often that even do that anymore. Once a month, maybe. More frequently over the holidays. Either way, less is more for me and I can't ever imagine going back to crushing entire 5ths and waking up in weird places with weird people, covered in strange bruises and feeling terrible. I can't tell you how many times my phone would ring and I'd answer it, still half drunk and someone would say: "...you don't remember what happened last night, do you?"...ugh. Fuck all that noise.

I drink for a subtle buzz now and call it good.

Madrigal
10-04-2015, 07:22 AM
Being 35 means (at least for me) that there's a much longer list of things that give me a headache, and alcohol can be one of them. Two drinks is fine, though I need to steer clear of certain beers and red wines (a glass can destroy me with a hellish headache with no prior drunkenness at all, kinda like an allergic reaction).

ACow
10-04-2015, 07:47 AM
If i'm feeling alcoholic, i might drink a pint with a meal, or a gin and tonic.

Anything more than that and I end up feeling pretty bad.

Edit: but that being said, alcohol makes me feel pretty bad. Generally, I'll only drink alcohol to the point where I can't feel any appreciable effect and there's some reason I want to drink an alcoholic beverage, which is to say: not often and not much.

Blorg
10-04-2015, 08:01 AM
The worst hangover I had lasted two days. That was after I drank most of a bottle of wine and maybe a third of a 750 ml bottle of Jameson. Don't know what came over me, that was hell. I'll get hungover after about 6 beers.

I can't imagine drinking that much. It sounds like torture.

Alcohol takes the edge off for me, but I never get the euphoric or sad or irritable feelings that some people do. I get a bit calmer and relaxed and that's it, psychologically.

jigglypuff
10-04-2015, 12:10 PM
i'm guessing low. i mean, that'd be the obvious answer, cuz "look at me."

i drink rarely and stop when i start feeling slow, dumb and happy. anything more than that and it's really unpleasant. i used to just get extremely anxious after very little, so i still had to work my way up to this.

Sappho
10-04-2015, 12:41 PM
This thread seems to confirm the stereotype of American alcohol intolerance. Perhaps because y'all start drinking later? Here, the legal drinking age is 16.

If challenged, a bottle of white wine is probably my limit. Spirits, strangely, have a much weaker effect on me. Schnapps drinking contests with male former roommates have always ended badly for them.

Linnea
10-04-2015, 12:52 PM
I rarely drink a lot since I don't like myself when I'm drunk (too talkative <_<) and I really don't like myself after I've been drunk. A lot of alcohol messes with my brain and I end up feeling extremely miserable for days. I don't like thinking that hurting myself might be the normal thing to do. So I keep my drinking moderate; I don't want to know where the exact line is between "that was a nice evening" and "oh, those kitchen knives look rather nice".

kitsune
10-04-2015, 01:19 PM
I have an inherited histamine sensitivity which makes beer and wine (and all the other undistilled, fermented liquors like rum and cachaša) off-limits for me. Sappho can confirm how sunburnt red I turned when I was tempted by a glass of wine-soaked strawberries in that cute little pub which only plays classical music. Alcoholic beverages like brandy, vodka and gin I seem to handle without the flushing, fevers, headaches, arrhythmia and asthma attacks. As I rarely drink*, my tolerance is low. I used to always say my tolerance was low because I'm small, but I'm not sure if there really is a connection between body size and tolerance. Not drinking alcohol makes socializing in Europe awkward.

* I only feel comfortable drinking around people I know and/or trust. I think I've only had three alcoholic drinks this year: a gin and tonic in the spring with an acquaintance I've known for 2-3 years, the wine-soaked strawberries with Sappho in Vienna and a Jńgermeister with Dot in Prague.

NedLudd
10-04-2015, 02:39 PM
This thread seems to confirm the stereotype of American alcohol intolerance. Perhaps because y'all start drinking later? Here, the legal drinking age is 16.


I thought the stereotype was more about our inability to moderate ourselves. I.e. we get hammered early and go home instead of spending the whole night drinking. In terms of sheer tolerance, I think I'm fairly average for this country.

Faust
10-04-2015, 03:10 PM
I got to test this just last night.

Rarely do I get drunk anymore. I can't stand the hangovers and I don't recover from them all day. Going into work Monday is always a bitch.

On particularly bad hangover mornings I talk to myself just as a distraction from the pain. Today I opted for bad Carson impressions or something.

MoneyJungle
10-04-2015, 04:15 PM
I enjoy being hammered, but a single serving or two of alcohol makes me feel terrible. I only drink when getting drunk is the plan, which is infrequent these days because hangovers.

Limes
10-04-2015, 04:24 PM
Alcohol is poison and I seem to have a toxic reaction to it. I get ill before I even get drunk. I've been drunk many times in the past, including one spectacular time as a teen that I really poisoned myself well by drinking snakebite (lager and cider mix) and then meeting two friends and swapping their whiskey and wine. I had an experience like the video "smack my bitch up" which included starting a fight with a shopkeeper, getting banned and thrown out of the store, falling down the stairs at home and destroying my computer desk, (taking the BBS offline.)
Another time, I drank a whole bottle of tequila plus the worm in Corfu and then sat outside my door with a perfectly good key in my pocket.
I've also drank a whole bottle of white rum, apparently gone yellow, had a bird shit on my head and then make it home on two buses via the city center without puking.

These days I very rarely drink and when I do, like at the flying saucer in Dallas a month or two ago, it generally makes me feel sick and like shit well into the next day. It's just not worth the trouble and I look forward to green legalization.

starla
10-04-2015, 05:56 PM
I can handle one drink, two if I'm eating a large meal. The third will make me puke. I always regret drinking. Even without a hangover or ill after effects in the morning, it's just a waste of money and calories.

ferrus
10-04-2015, 06:18 PM
I can drink insane amounts. (And have...) But my behaviour can often veer towards arseholism pretty quickly after drinking.

Which means I haven't so much any more, which makes me wonder if my tolerance is weaker now.

Wolf
10-04-2015, 06:31 PM
A friend and I shared a 750 ml bottle of tequila between ourselves. I was pretty wasted after that. I can drink up to ten 330 ml bottles of beer before getting wasted. I get tipsy at six. I generally have a stronger tolerance for beers than for hard liquors.

Pan_Sonic_000
10-04-2015, 06:40 PM
It seems a lot of people ITT are susceptible to hangovers.

I'd always heard they were largely caused by dehydration, so I made it a point to drink a lot of water as well. A 1:1 ratio, if possible. Anecdotally speaking, it helped a lot but it's not preventative. I might've dragged ass the next day, but I wasn't laying in bed feeling like my optic nerves were undergoing a break load test.

oxyjen
10-04-2015, 06:46 PM
I rarely get hangovers, but I'm not nineteen anymore and don't get completely shitfaced when I choose to drink. My body seems to process it pretty well.

As a woman, the mere thought of chugging an entire bottle of liquor makes me queasy. I think those guys are full of shit, or raging alcoholics. Drinking that much and feeling like shit defeats the purpose of drinking at all.

When I drink just for a drink, it's 1-2. Socially or celebrating something then it's a bit more. I can pretty much find the sweet spot and ride that out the entire day. I'm a bit bummed that I have an alcohol-free five months (including holidays) ahead of me.

last_caress
10-04-2015, 07:03 PM
at my peak, when I was laid off and out 3 nights a week I was up to about 3 six packs of 12 oz. beer in 3.5 hours or so with only a slight headache the next day. that's getting into blackout drunk territory for me though.

it's a tolerance that has to build otherwise I get nasty hangovers. if it's been awhile, about 10 beers is my limit.

Acetaldehyde is the main culprit in hangovers. I have heard of people huffing pure oxygen to cure it but I've never tried it myself.

Perdix
10-04-2015, 07:20 PM
Limey

Reference to this song?


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iIMVbL1rq5c

===

I could do this and not wake up dead the next day, I would blackout within the hour though. Seems like a stupid way to get internet famous,

His BAC was somewhere between .3-.32, unless he threw up, which I'm guessing he did.

Perdix
10-04-2015, 07:31 PM
Oh, if you drink about a gallon of water after a heavy night of drinking, right before going to bed, there will be no hangover IME.

Hephaestus
10-04-2015, 08:04 PM
Oh, if you drink about a gallon of water after a heavy night of drinking, right before going to bed, there will be no hangover IME.

The theory is sound, but I think it better to space that gallon during your drinking. Have a drink, drink a glass of water. Then, as insurance: electrolyte solution.

If you wake up feeling hungover, a liter of Pedialyte will go a loooong way toward getting your head right.

Note: these things do get worse as you get older--or presumably as your liver degrades. The best insurance against hangovers is not to overindulge. Unfortunately, that practice will never get your teeth ringing. Fortunately, that practice will make you substantially less likely to pee somewhere you will regret.


I'd hate to have a tolerance where I could crush a fifth. I like being able to be happy from a couple shots of Hennessy. It lasts longer.

attila_the_hunny
10-04-2015, 08:08 PM
I hardly ever drink anymore so my tolerance has gone to shit. I was always a social drinker and now all my friends are in a 12-step program (and sober).

Sir Caveat
10-04-2015, 08:13 PM
I'm reminded of the old joke.
I don't drink anymore.
And I don't drink any less.

Limes
10-04-2015, 08:13 PM
@Limey (http://forums.intpcomplex.com/member.php?u=81)

Reference to this song?



Yes, but the original video: https://vimeo.com/44561183

flurps
10-04-2015, 08:56 PM
I started splitting cases of warm PBR my friend kept in the trunk of his hubcapless car around 19. I trained well for a few years and when I was unemployed between 23-25 I could get away with downing a fifth of maker's mark in a night and only having a one day hangover. Now my cutoff is about 4 drinks, it just magically gets hard to put away any more than that. I never thought I would reach this point a decade ago but here I am. Even getting high once a week leaves me with difficult to control withdrawal anxiety the subsequent 3 days. Having a kid has made it way too easy to dial it back to once every 6 weeks.

Now all I really enjoy is the occasional psychedelic trip or sobriety. Weird how the pendulum swung completely the other way. I would still get trashed if my body could handle it. Fucking health how's it work.

...

If I could ever enjoy the privilege of waking up alone on a Saturday with absolutely no homework, nagging wife or screaming baby I could probably still absorb the impact of going into double digits. Luckily not an option.

Perdix
10-04-2015, 08:59 PM
Yes, but the original video: https://vimeo.com/44561183

Gotta get that context ehh? Still one of my favorite music videos, very well done for 1997.

Senseye
10-05-2015, 09:24 PM
I've noticed as I have got older, I have a much higher tolerance for low amounts of alcohol, but much less tolerance for high amounts of alcohol.

So I can drink up to about six drinks and hardly feel any effect, but then I will get noticeable drunk in the 8-10 range. Which is where I generally max out these days.

I think there are some metabolic differences (like women definitely metabolize alcohol slower than men for the same body weight) and I know aboriginals have a higher tolerance for alcohol (in the sense they it takes them a higher blood alcohol level to pass out - which is actually bad, as unconsciousness can be a useful fail safe to prevent one from over consuming to an extreme degree). So maybe these Dominican types have some genetic level of higher tolerance, but some of those claimed amounts seem absurd.

I'm not sure I could chug a fifth of hard liquor without puking immediately. But given 10 minutes or so at say a shot a minute, I could get through one, although I would be a bit sloppy an hour later. That's only 8 standard drinks, so it's only the compressed time frame that would give me difficulty.

starla
10-05-2015, 09:37 PM
I don't understand why anyone would want a high tolerance. It sounds expensive. I max out at $30 on a wild night out. $40 if you throw in an Uber home.

Faust
10-05-2015, 10:04 PM
aboriginals have a higher tolerance for alcohol

Due to the level so many of them drink here today, I can see that. But from a biological stand point I don't see it.

last_caress
10-05-2015, 10:23 PM
I've noticed as I have got older, I have a much higher tolerance for low amounts of alcohol, but much less tolerance for high amounts of alcohol.

So I can drink up to about six drinks and hardly feel any effect, but then I will get noticeable drunk in the 8-10 range. Which is where I generally max out these days.

I think there are some metabolic differences (like women definitely metabolize alcohol slower than men for the same body weight) and I know aboriginals have a higher tolerance for alcohol (in the sense they it takes them a higher blood alcohol level to pass out - which is actually bad, as unconsciousness can be a useful fail safe to prevent one from over consuming to an extreme degree). So maybe these Dominican types have some genetic level of higher tolerance, but some of those claimed amounts seem absurd.

I'm not sure I could chug a fifth of hard liquor without puking immediately. But given 10 minutes or so at say a shot a minute, I could get through one, although I would be a bit sloppy an hour later. That's only 8 standard drinks, so it's only the compressed time frame that would give me difficulty.

Chugging a fifth would probably put you in a coma if not dead. Maybe you're thinking a pint. 10 shots of 80 proof over the course of 3 hours would have me very drunk. In 10 minutes, that's a pretty substantial amount of alcohol all at once.

The general rule is 1 shot worth of 80 proof (roughly one standard cheap american 12oz. beer) is metabolized per hour. I use this to pace myself and it works pretty well.

pensive_pilgrim
10-05-2015, 10:41 PM
I used to drink way more than a fifth every day, but chugging one like that would still mean instant blackout at the very least. I'm not a big guy but even if you are I think you'd need to build up some serious tolerance in order to do that and still be in a state where you can socialize and have fun.

That said, I once had my blood drawn and tested at .38 and I wasn't even blacked out. Maybe if I'd been 100 pounds heavier and known this olive trick I could have done it, but I can't see why I would have wanted to. It would just mean I'd need to spend more on alcohol and have to deal with more stomach side effects. Also bragging about how much you drink seems like such a teenage thing to do.

Sistamatic
10-05-2015, 10:55 PM
Alcohol is broken down into a form that can be eliminated from the body by liver enzymes. Unfortunately, a byproduct of the breakdown process destroys liver cells. Liver cells do regenerate, so as long as your rate of regeneration is at least equal to the rate of cell death, you are probably OK.

Things that can cause variance in tolerance.
1. Size of liver.
2. Variations in the form of the genes that code for the enzymes that break down alcohol. Studies are ongoing to determine the full suite of alleles and the effects of each.
3. Body size.
4. Recent alcohol exposure (because it triggered production of additional enzymes for breakdown).

One of the main factors in hangovers is dehydration. This is because alcohol shuts off the release of a hormone which tells your kidneys to reabsorb water (ADH - Antidiuretic hormone). Normally the level of this hormone is a regulator for maintaining optimal osmotic balance in your body, but when it is shut off entirely, none of the water that diffuses out of the blood in the kidneys is reabsorbed and you literally piss away your body's water. You can drink more, but you'll continue to piss away more than you should until the alcohol is out of your system.

High blood alcohol levels can also have significant hematological effects, such as the clumping of red blood cells and subsequently a lack of 02 saturation. (If you have one of the samsung phones with an 02 sat meter, take your 02sat before and after drinking...it will blow your mind...I typically drop from 99 percent to about 96% when I've had a couple of beers). Alcohol also affects bone marrow and can prevent formation of new bloods cells, which is why so many alcoholics are anemic.

If you are an alcoholic looking for inspiration to quit, read this: http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/arh21-1/42.pdf

Senseye
10-06-2015, 02:20 PM
Chugging a fifth would probably put you in a coma if not dead. Maybe you're thinking a pint. 10 shots of 80 proof over the course of 3 hours would have me very drunk. In 10 minutes, that's a pretty substantial amount of alcohol all at once.

The general rule is 1 shot worth of 80 proof (roughly one standard cheap american 12oz. beer) is metabolized per hour. I use this to pace myself and it works pretty well.You are correct, I was thinking a fifth = 12oz. The term "fifth" is not common in Canada. From my movie/tv watching, I thought I recalled people going into a liquor store and buying a fifth, and getting one of those small bottles that fits in your breast pocket.

And yes, 26 oz/750ml, would leave me in bad shape even over the course of a long evening. It might indeed be near fatal if chugged.

stuck
10-14-2015, 07:37 AM
I've resorted to drinking glasses of ice water with half a shot of garbage bourbon thrown in. I'd like to say it's because of some profound health reason, but it's really just been so pube-boilingly hot that I can't fathom anything else.

Aurast
10-14-2015, 11:30 PM
I don't know about chugging, but I've finished a fifth of vodka in an evening on a couple of occasions. It gets me pretty god damned drunk, but I can still get around (it helps for there to be walls around) and remember most stuff. I don't drink very often but I weigh 190 lbs and am half Polish.