How To Sober Up Quickly: Ways To Stop Being Drunk

Last Updated: August 8, 2019

how to sober up quickly

When people are out drinking with friends and having a great time, it’s not unusual to get carried away and have one too many. Before they know it, their speech is slurred, and they’re stumbling while walking. Some people wake up with nothing more than a horrible hangover. Others wake up physically and mentally impaired, i.e., drunk. Why do you get hangovers and why do you get drunk? And how long does it take to sober up from alcohol?

When the fun times end, most people need to be functional and productive. Being drunk could mean missing an important job interview or meeting or performing poorly on an exam. The question is how to sober up quick from drunkenness?

How Many Hours Does It Take to Sober Up?

When a person is drunk, the only thing they want to know is how to sober up from alcohol in 30 minutes. However, it’s not that simple. After a person drinks alcohol, it takes the body some time to metabolize the ethanol and excrete it. How long does it take to stop being drunk?

It takes some time for the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) to fall to zero. There is no way to instantly lower the BAC at home.
It depends on the amount of alcohol consumed. It also varies from person to person and depends on how quickly an individual metabolizes and excretes the alcohol. Also, different types of drinks are metabolized at different speeds.

The average liver can process about 1 unit of alcohol per hour (one unit is approximately half a pint of average-strength lager or half a glass of average-strength wine). So, a simple calculation is roughly 2 hours to sober up completely after one glass of wine or one pint of lager.

Although it is impossible to instantly get rid of alcohol from the body, there are ways to get sober and feel better more quickly. However, it’s important to remember that these tips do not mean drunk individuals can drive or engage in other potentially dangerous activities without risk of harm to themselves and others.

Throwing Up: Is It the Fastest Way to Sober Up from Alcohol?

When someone wakes up drunk, and they have important meetings lined up in a couple of hours, the one question on their mind is: How to sober up in an hour? Will throwing up help? Is there an effective medicine for the hangover? The truth is vomiting does not help.

After alcohol enters the body, it is absorbed very quickly from the gastrointestinal tract into the bloodstream. Unless a person throws up immediately after taking a sip of their drink, vomiting does not remove the alcohol from the body.

Throwing up may help indirectly by relieving nausea, which is a common symptom after too much alcohol. Self-induced vomiting is not a good idea, however, because exposure to stomach acid can damage the esophagus (food pipe).

Cold Shower To Get Clear

For people who are wondering how to dry up after drinking, a cold shower might seem like a good idea. While jets of cold water can kickstart the nervous system and wake the body up, they are not what helps you sober up. Cold water cannot lower blood alcohol levels, and it is not one of the ways to clear the head faster. Nonetheless, a cold shower may be useful because it can increase alertness and help a drunk person appear fresh and look less intoxicated.

Drinking Coffee To Sober Up

One of the most common tips on how to get sober fast is to drink a cup of strong coffee. Does coffee sober you up or is this merely a myth?

Again, caffeine does nothing to lower the blood alcohol concentration. Coffee cannot speed up alcohol metabolism, and it cannot increase how quickly alcohol is removed from the body. However, caffeine is a stimulant, and it does increase alertness and functionality, thereby counteracting the depressant effect of alcohol. It’s worth remembering though that both caffeine and alcohol have a dehydrating effect, so drinking coffee while drunk may not be the best idea.

It is very important to remember that drinking coffee does not make a person clear-headed enough to drive or perform other potentially dangerous activities. The belief that caffeine will get your loved one sober is a dangerous one and can result in accidents and injuries.

cups ewith different types of coffee drinks

What To Eat When Drunk To Sober Up

Is greasy food the answer to the question: How to sober up from alcohol quickly? The presence of greasy, fatty foods in the stomach before a person starts drinking can slow down the absorption of alcohol and delay drunkenness. For this reason, many people believe a fat-rich meal is the best way to prevent a hangover. However, in individuals who are already drunk, the presence of greasy foods in the stomach does not affect whatsoever since the alcohol is already in the bloodstream. So, what foods are best when someone is drunk?

What helps sober up is a healthy meal that gives the body the nutrients it needs to combat the toxins produced by the breakdown of alcohol. Eggs on toast, oatmeal, and a bowl of fruit and yogurt are all good choices. Bread or any other specific food cannot make drunkenness go away. There are no quick ways to sober up. The only thing that can clear the head after alcohol is time because the liver needs time to take alcohol out of the body.

Drinking Plenty Of Water

Alcohol increases urine production and is dehydrating, so it’s a good idea to replenish the body with fluids after a night of drinking. Water and other clear liquids cannot make the body remove alcohol faster. However, liquids do provide much-needed hydration.

Vitamin-rich beverages like juices contain important nutrients that can help the liver flush out toxins and process the alcohol in the body. While fluids may be one of the ways how to sober up fast, remember that acidic drinks can irritate the stomach lining and exacerbate the inflammation caused by alcohol.

Does water sober you up? In terms of beverages, it is indeed best to stick to clear fluids like water to fight the dehydrating effects of alcohol. Water is perhaps the best way to cure a hangover and can work for drunkenness too.

How To Sober Up With Exercise

A rather unusual way of how to get sober is exercising. It may be the last thing a person wants to do after drinking too much alcohol, but exercise has several benefits. It wakes the mind and body up and increases alertness and physical agility. It also causes the release of endorphins which are feel-good chemicals that boost energy levels and combat stress and anxiety.

How to get sober from alcohol? Hit the gym or go for a run. However, it is always important to consult a physician before beginning an exercise regimen. Sudden strenuous physical activity can be harmful, especially in people with heart disease.

Sex: The Quickest Way To Sober Up From Alcohol

For anyone who has had too much alcohol, an effective way of how to sober up fast from being drunk that is also enjoyable would be excellent news. Researchers are looking at possible connections between hormones released during sex and intoxication effects. However, we are still a long way from a sobriety pill. If someone is wondering how to sober up quickly, a session between the sheets may have the same benefits as a workout.

woman's hand on the sheets

Supplements To Feel Un-Drunk

Vitamins and minerals are essential for the body to detox. The breakdown of alcohol in the body leads to the production of several toxic substances such as acetaldehyde. These toxins put a strain on the liver that has to work extra hard to get rid of them.

While supplements cannot reduce blood alcohol levels to zero, they can restore the essential nutrients that are lost from the body due to the diuretic effect of alcohol. Supplements may not be the answer to how to sober up faster, but they do help the body recover more quickly.

Enzyme Pills: Myth Or Fact?

How to sober up when drunk? If popping a pill could do the trick, there would be billions of dollars to be made. Researchers have had some success in lowering blood alcohol levels in mice by injecting them with enzymes that metabolize alcohol. If the process can be replicated in humans, it could lead to the development of a sobriety pill.

However, these enzymes are not approved for use in humans. Currently, there is no proof this method will work for humans who have had too much alcohol.
At present, scientists have yet not discovered the fastest way to clear the head.

Do This, Not That: The Best Ways to Sober Up

Most people have been drunk at least once in their life. The quickest way to sober up is to start helping the body recover by providing nutrition, hydration, and rest. A good night’s sleep, plenty of water, and a healthy meal can all speed up the recovery from excessive alcohol.

Sober up meaning is to become functional, alert, and gradually less drunk. There is no instantaneous cure for drunkenness and no way how to sober up fast from alcohol. The only way to clear the head is to allow time to pass.

Alcohol abuse rehab clinics help people to become sober and stay sober for life. Consider treating alcohol abuse in one of them.


Gregory Okhifun

Dr. Gregory Okhifun

Medical Reviewer

Dr. Okhifun is a passionate medical doctor, with over five years’ experience as a general practitioner. His passion for medical education led to his journey in medical writing. He has a wealth of experience writing for hospitals and medical centers, health organizations, telemedicine platforms, wellness organizations, medical tourism publications, addiction websites, and websites focused on nutrition and nutraceuticals.
He also serves as medical coordinator and content writer for Gerocare Solutions, for which he also volunteers as a health advisor/consultant for the elderly.
Dr. Okhifun enjoys traveling, meditation, and reading.

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