How to Increase Alcohol Tolerance

Alcohol tolerance is a funny thing. Some are blessed with an abundance of it. Others earn it drink by drink. Then there are those, such as yourself, who have been cursed with a low tolerance to alcohol. Even worse, some people are actually allergic to it. Poor bastards.


There are a few things you can do, some long term, and others that you can do in preparation shortly before you git to partyin’. Let’s look at the short term ones first.

1. Eat a Big Meal With Lots of Protein, Fats, and Carbs - You heard right mon frère ivrogne, protein helps. But do yourself a favor and choose something that’s low-salt as well, as high-salt content foods will dehydrate you and work against you. These foods all slow the absorption of alcohol into the bloodstream and slow the drunkening process. You can also supplement throughout the night, eating nuts or other high protein foods. It’s only delaying your body absorbing the alcohol though, not stopping it. Word to the wise…this is not the time to try lots of new foods that your body may not be used to. Keep it simple.

Yep, just let the eyes roll back in your head and keep chompin’, Junior

2. Drink a Glass of Milk - Drinking a glass of milk will coat your stomach, again slowing the process down some and giving your body more time to absorb the alcohol instead of getting slammed with it all at once. Some people think this is a bad idea, that it will somehow “curdle” in your stomach as you drink other things throughout the night, but I say hogwash. As long as you don’t do it immediately before you start drinking, you should be fine. Unless you’re lactose intolerant, and then you’re an idiot for listening to this anyway.

3. Drink Water Between Drinks - You can decide your own pacing, but the more water you drink the more diluted the alcohol will be, and the impact of what you’re drinking will be lessened. It all depends on your current tolerance, but one glass of water to every one or two drinky-drinks you have should be plenty for most people. Yes, you will have to pee more, but that’s the price you pay to not wake up duct-taped to the ceiling with all of your body hair missing (Oh wait there it is, it’s stuffed in your mouth.  All of it).

I don’t think that’s the right shade of lipstick for his skin type

Now that you’ve got the pre-game situation locked down, let’s look at some long-term strategy…

1. Drink Regularly - As much as everyday, if you’re up for it. We’ve all heard about the reports that drinking can be good for you, so do it already! They say men who drink 1-2 alcoholic beverages a day, and women who drink 1 a day can benefit in many ways, from better heart-health to gallstones, booze is looking out for you. If you build up a good tolerance to drinking 1-2 drinks a day (or take that liver out for a spin, crank it up to 3-4 and see what she can really do), it won’t be such a shock to your system when you go out and party. This is the one sure-fire way to boost your tolerance if you stick with it.

2. Get Fatter - Seriously. Bigger people generally have bigger livers (the better to produce enzymes to break down alcohol with, my dear). They also have more ahhh…”real estate” for the alcohol to run its course through. More body = more blood for the alcohol to take a swim in. Certainly, there are plenty of other health risks if you increase your bodyweight to the point of being overweight or obese, but that’s up to you. You asked, so I’m telling you.

A final note on this: once you’re drunk, you’re drunk. Only time and water will help you at that point. Food won’t help, because the alcohol is already absorbed into your system. Caffeine will not help you, it will make you feel more alert, but you will most certainly still be drunk, so don’t think you can drink some coffee or chug a Red Bull and then drive home. Just sit tight, drink water, piss it out, repeat and eventually the booze will work its way through your system.

Or you can pass out on the couch, and take your chances…

That’s all for this week! Got a question about drinking? Ask DrinkPlanner!

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Avid drinkers, and supporters of - the team at deliver the best, albeit when awake and sober enough to sit and type without sloshing all over the keyboard, of the net in booze humor, news, reviews, worthwhile drink spots, and general drunken tomfoolery check out their site always a sure bet for a laugh and inspiration 

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  • Mellow says
    The French/Italians etc are brought up with plenty of food & wine frequently & in moderation, therefore their tolerance to alcohol is achievable .. (to a point) ... hic
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    • Wice says
      I am really disturbed by this article. I am very much a wine lover and with European parents, I was brought up with wine at every meal. I do have a high alcohol tolerance but that doesn’t mean that I don’t take into account that long-term, drinking isn’t good for my mind or body. I have one life and I want to be present, and enjoy it to the full. I don’t want to increase my chances of getting cancer or damaging my liver; in fact, there is documented evidence that long term alcohol use can harm nearly every organ and system in the body.

      I can't believe this article which seems to be promoting drinking more alcohol simply for alcohol's sake. It’s not just a matter of whether or not you vomit, lose control, or have a hangover. We are talking about promoting alcoholism here where like any drug, more and more is needed to have any effect.

      Why would anyone want to become an alcoholic? There are hundreds of drinks to enjoy and no one is forced to drink booze.
      We are lucky our body gives signals that we are drinking more than it can cope with. If people drink alcohol because they prefer the flavour to other beverages, then there is no reason to simply scoff glass after glass. Have water if you are thirsty and sip your alcohol so you can appreciate and enjoy it.

      On the other hand, if you drink alcohol merely to get drunk, then why bother trying to become more tolerant to its affects?

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