We all like to go out and drink a cold beer and some of us might get drunk quicker than others. However, some of us will drink one beer and already feel buzzed – but why is this?
If you’re finding you are drinking one beer and instantly feel drunk, you might be worried as to why this is and wondering why and how this is even possible.
The short answer is, many people do get drunk from one beer and plenty of factors like your diet and what you’ve done that day are involved – but there’s a lot more to it than this.
Luckily for you, we’ve created a handy guide that explains why one beer might be getting you drunk and if you need to panic about it or not.
Here’s what you need to know.
So, Can You Get Drunk From One Beer?
Yes, absolutely! There’s no doubt about it at all. The amount of alcohol in a single unit of beer can vary massively depending on the type of beer and the strength of the beer itself.
If you’re looking for a specific number then you should look into the ABV (Alcohol by Volume) which is usually found on the back label of a bottle of beer.
This tells you exactly how much alcohol is contained within each bottle of beer.
For example, an average pint of lager has around 3% ABV while a strong ale could have up to 8%. If you were to drink a whole pint of either of these beers you would probably start feeling slightly tipsy after just a few minutes.
However, when you consider that a standard glass of wine contains between 12-14% ABV, it becomes clear that one beer isn’t going to give you enough alcohol to make you drunk. Having said that though, it is entirely possible.
How Does Someone Get Drunk From One Beer?
Many factors play a role in someone getting drunk. For example, your body weight plays a huge part in whether you’ll become intoxicated from drinking a single unit of alcohol.
You also need to take into account how quickly you consume the beer.
It takes time for alcohol to enter your bloodstream so if you drink a large quantity of alcohol very fast, you could find yourself feeling drunk before you’d expected.
Your metabolism also plays a big factor. If you eat something before you drink, your body needs to process the food first before it can begin metabolizing the alcohol.
So if you eat a meal with lots of carbohydrates, such as pasta, bread or rice, you may find yourself feeling full and bloated before you’ve had any chance to absorb the alcohol in the beer.
Your tolerance level also plays a key role in how quickly you’ll get drunk. Some people are naturally more tolerant to alcohol than others.
If you’re a heavy drinker, you may find that you can handle one or two drinks without becoming too drunk.
Whereas, if you’re a social drinker who doesn’t normally drink much, you may find that one drink makes you feel completely drunk.
Here are some of the factors that play a role in how quickly someone will get drunk:
- General health and wellness
- Body weight
- Metabolism and fitness
- How much sleep they’ve had
- Any medications they may be taking
- How hydrated a person is
- How strong (ABV) the alcohol is
The beer you are drinking will play a big factor in whether you get drunk from only one of them. A strong ale or beer with a high ABV is much more likely to get you drunk faster than a low ABV beer.
Why Am I Suddenly Getting Drunk Quickly?
If you used to be able to tolerate a lot of beer, but now you’re finding you’re getting drunk much more quickly, it could be a sign of a liver problem, or it could be down to new medication or a change in your diet or lifestyle.
If your new, much quicker drunkenness is stemming from a liver issue like a fatty liver, cirrhosis or hepatitis, you should seek out medical advice as quickly as possible.
Typically, abstinence from alcohol for a while can resolve these issues and get you back to normal, but sometimes you may need to drastically alter your lifestyle.
It’s important to remember that everyone reacts differently to alcohol. So even if you’re having trouble handling one drink, there’s no reason to worry.
Just keep an eye out for any changes in your behavior.
Could I Be Allergic To Alcohol?
Some people have allergies to certain types of alcohol. These people usually experience symptoms when consuming anything containing those particular alcohols.
Those who are allergic to alcohol may find themselves getting drunk quickly from a very small amount of alcohol.
They may also feel pains in their abdomen and headaches, so if you suspect this might be you – speak with a doctor.
Could It Be Alcohol Flushing Syndrome?
Alcohol flushing syndrome is a condition where people develop red blotches on their skin after consuming alcohol.
This happens because the blood vessels dilate and become engorged with blood. The result is a flushed appearance.
This condition can affect anyone at any time, regardless of age, gender or ethnicity.
People who suffer from this condition often have difficulty tolerating alcohol and may require higher doses to achieve intoxication.
How Alcohol Typically Affects The Human Body
When we consume alcohol, our bodies break it down into acetaldehyde which then converts to acetic acid. Acetaldehyde is what causes the feeling of being tipsy.
Once converted to acetic acid, the body breaks it down further into carbon dioxide and water.
Acetaldehyde is toxic to the brain, causing damage to nerve cells and eventually leading to memory loss.
Our bodies produce enzymes called alcohol dehydrogenases (ADH) that convert ethanol to acetaldehyde. If ADH levels are too low, then the conversion process does not take place properly.
The human body has three main systems that help us metabolize alcohol: the digestive system, the circulatory system and the central nervous system.
These systems work together to eliminate alcohol from the body.
When we drink too much alcohol, our bodies start producing large amounts of insulin, which raises blood sugar levels.
As a result, our brains begin to crave glucose, which makes us want to eat more food.
Our bodies also release hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline, which increases heart rate and blood pressure.
These hormones cause our muscles to contract, making it harder to breathe and move around.
The Bottom Line
Getting drunk from one beer can happen due to a number of normal factors that you will not need to worry about.
However, if you’re finding you’re getting drunk from one beer all of a sudden with no obvious lifestyle changes – you should seek medical advice.