I'm drunk, not pleased
June 13, 2006 9:23 PM   Subscribe

When you drink, how long does it take to sober up?

I had three martinis from 4:45 to 7:30. That's not normally a lot for me, but I drank on an empty stomach. That's where I went wrong. I'm normally a 4 martini gal. I did I eat shortly after my first martini. And now, I 'm at home and sick drunk. Spins, wooziness. I hate this feeling. I think the key was, I started when I was hungry, and although I ate shortly after the first drink, it was too late. Being this blotto is rare for me. Now I'm dizzy drunk. How long before I'm sober? How long before I can expect the spins to subside?
posted by generic230 to Food & Drink (21 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Drink some water, take some apririn and go to bed. You'll be sober in the morning.
posted by chiababe at 9:28 PM on June 13, 2006

Taking aspirin after drinking alcohol can cause major damage to your liver. Just drink lots of water.
posted by acoutu at 9:33 PM on June 13, 2006

Best answer: I always read it was 1 'drink' per hour, your martinis could very well be 2 'drinks' each (1 drink is 1 beer, 1 shot, etc) so 6 hours?

Drink tons of water and have something sweet and something salty (read that on lifehacker.com a month ago).
posted by wolfkult at 9:38 PM on June 13, 2006 [1 favorite]

acoutu, I think you're thinking of Tylenol (acetaminophen). Aspirin has no liver-damaging effects associated with alcohol consumption.

Tylenol, on the other hand, is very liver-toxic in high doses and the effect is compounded in conjunction with alcohol.
posted by Roach at 9:42 PM on June 13, 2006 [1 favorite]

Depends on your body weight and amount of food in your stomach. I'm a smaller guy so if I haven't eaten all day and start drinking, after 3 drinks I feel like shit. OTOH, just last week I had dinner and polished off 12 beers in 2 hours and felt fine the whole night (and the next morning).

Each martini will take you (if you're small and really hungry) about 3 hours to work off. So 3 martinis means 9 hours in my book. Of course, this also assumes that you ate something when you got home and are drinking water. If you haven't done either of these, you're in for some real pain.
posted by SeizeTheDay at 10:03 PM on June 13, 2006

The question isn't "Will taking asprin with booze effect my liver" it's "How long before I'm sober.

The answer can be calculated by this chart and the fact that BAC goes down by about 0.015/hr.
posted by delmoi at 10:22 PM on June 13, 2006

Drinking water will help you avoid a hangover, but I don't think it will lower your BAC.
posted by delmoi at 10:23 PM on June 13, 2006

Roach, I agree with you about Tylenol, but the US College of Gastroenterologists warns about aspirin used with alcohol.
posted by acoutu at 10:25 PM on June 13, 2006

Response by poster: Okay, I am sobering up. Apparently a fight with your S.O. speeds this process along. So, keep that in mind for future tips on getting sober faster.

I no longer have the spins, I'm mildly drunk and sleepy. But, before, when I was pretty drunk, I really loved all of you. Really, really. Who'da thunk I'd get an answer to this. I've been drinking tons of water and I had a salty (crackers) and a sweet (yogurt) and I feel better. I'll be able to sleep without puking. Thanks.
posted by generic230 at 10:30 PM on June 13, 2006

In related news (reported yesterday): Drinking Coffee Cuts Alcohol's Harmful Effects.
posted by ericb at 10:35 PM on June 13, 2006

Generic: yeah go to sleep, that will definitely work. Oh, and personal experience tells me how ever drunk I am I'm disappointingly sober in 30 minutes :(
posted by delmoi at 10:38 PM on June 13, 2006

The real answer to the slice of the question "how long before the spins subside" depends on too many factors to really get an actual answer here. Weight, metabolism, alcohol content, actual food in system, your general tolerance to alcohol, your liver and kidney functions, your subjective definition of the "spins," your overall balance and coordination, the possible presence of other medications and/or illnesses, the shoes you're wearing and even the density of the bones in your inner ear all play a part here.

Drink water. Go to sleep. Promise to never do this again. Unless you bring enough booze for everyone in the class, 'kay?
posted by frogan at 11:03 PM on June 13, 2006

pop some vitamin B12 before you go to bed (assuming you're still up). You'll wake up w/o a hangover (works for me!)
posted by special-k at 11:24 PM on June 13, 2006

I relate. The worst drunk I've ever gotten has been when I've eaten a big meal either immediately before or shortly after I started drinking. Seems like I miss the early cues to stop drinking that way.
posted by ruff at 12:55 AM on June 14, 2006

Response by poster: 6 A.M. Update: Sometime last night I realized that although I only ordered a martini 3 times, they brought this mini shaker, and when my glass got low, the waitress would refill it, so I may actually have had 6 martinis.

I am awake, drank tons of water, and have no hangover. I didn't sleep at all actually, even though I sobered up around midnight. I'm too old for this shit. Seriously. Too old.
posted by generic230 at 5:51 AM on June 14, 2006

An old remedy that's worked for me is to eat a piece of toast with lots of honey on it before going to bed. Something about the sugar in the honey and the sugar in the booze.
posted by Atom12 at 6:32 AM on June 14, 2006

Burnt toast, the burnt carbon absorbs the remaining alcohol. Once it is in your blood stream you are screwed but if you can catch while it is in your stomach it should help you from getting even more drunk.
posted by geoff. at 6:50 AM on June 14, 2006

I know I walked in here late, but what are you referring to when you say "martini?" If it's just a mixed (shaken, in this case) drink in a martini glass you can probably get away with three, but if it's a gin or vodka martini in a full-sized martini glass, that's a good way to get wasted quickly. At a couple of my favorite bars, a martini that's either dry or well made is three or four measures of gin or vodka. Having three of those in under three hours is pretty much a knockout punch.
posted by mikeh at 7:08 AM on June 14, 2006

The water/salty/sweet combo sounds like a plan. I'll try a couple of glasses of Gatorade (electrolyte/carbohydrate-loaded sports drink, if you don't have it over the pond) after the pub this evening.
posted by hangashore at 7:38 AM on June 14, 2006

Wait, you're supposed to be completely plastered after only three or four martinis? I remember having something like nine or ten of them one night a few years ago, and I didn't even reach the passing out or puking stage. And I'm really small, too.

I've always just needed water...at least two full glasses of water before hitting the sack, and no hangover whatsoever in the morning :)
posted by cyrusdogstar at 7:40 AM on June 14, 2006

I think it depends on the person. I went out with an old roommate a few weeks ago and we matched each other drink for drink. I came home and barfed and went to bed. He didn't barf until many hours later.

He was sick & feeling miserable all day. I was sleepy & groggy, but otherwise felt just fine when I woke up. Every time we go out drinking, the results are the same.

Some people just metabolize alcohol different. Make it really fun, go drinking with an off-duty cop friend that has a Breathalyzer handy.
Same friend, we drank the same amount of alcohol in the same amount of time.
Him: 0.11
Me: 0.06

30 minutes later, I was at a 0.02 and he was at 0.08.
posted by drstein at 11:27 AM on June 14, 2006

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