How To Naturally Flush Alcohol Out Of Your System
Alcohol is among the most popular drugs in the world. After you drink it, it slowly exits your body through your breath, sweat, and urine. Although you can’t force the drug out of your system, you can take steps to flush it out more quickly.
How To Naturally Flush Alcohol Out Of Your System
The amount of time it takes for alcohol to metabolize (break down) and leave your system depends on a variety of factors, including:
- your age
- your sex
- your weight
- the amount of alcohol you had
- whether you drank on an empty stomach
- whether you have any physical or mental health conditions
- whether you take any medications
To speed up the alcohol metabolism process, try these tips:
Drink Plenty Of Fluids
Your liver is responsible for metabolizing alcohol. As the alcohol breaks down, it produces a metabolite (byproduct) called acetaldehyde. This substance can damage your liver and slow down the metabolism process. Drinking water helps flush acetaldehyde from your body by increasing your urine output.
In addition to flushing out alcohol, water increases your hydration levels. This is important since alcohol drinks often leave you dehydrated. Alcohol-induced dehydration can cause unpleasant side effects such as drowsiness and headache.
Aim to drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day. If you dislike plain water, add a slice of lemon, lime, or orange.
Along with water, you should also drink sports drinks that contain electrolytes. Electrolytes are essential minerals that help you stay hydrated. You can also try green tea, which contains antioxidants that help alcohol exit your body faster.
Eat Nutritious Foods
After drinking a lot of alcohol, you might feel too nauseous to eat. However, food can speed up alcohol metabolism, especially probiotic foods like sauerkraut, kombucha, and kefir.
Eating can also reduce alcohol withdrawal symptoms such as sweating, shaking, and anxiety. If you struggle with these symptoms, try the following foods:
- foods rich in antioxidants, such as fruits, vegetables, and nuts
- foods rich in vitamin B, such as eggs, salmon, and avocado
- foods rich in whole grains, such as brown rice, oatmeal, and whole wheat bread
You can also help your body metabolize alcohol by avoiding highly processed foods and drinks like chips, white bread, and soda. Your liver must work extra hard to break down these items. This added stress can make it difficult for your liver to metabolize alcohol in a timely manner.
Physical activity helps you sweat alcohol out of your system. It also forces you to breathe deeply, which delivers more oxygen to your liver so it can break down alcoholic drinks more effectively.
In addition, like healthy eating, exercise not only speeds up alcohol metabolism but also decreases alcohol withdrawal symptoms. To avoid overstressing your body, stick with gentle activities like walking or yoga. Also, make sure to stay hydrated.
Get Enough Sleep
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that adults get at least seven hours of sleep per night. Sleep gives your body the energy it needs to flush out alcohol.
Unfortunately, while alcoholic beverages may make you drowsy, they can also prevent you from getting deep, restful sleep. To improve your sleep quality, try:
- going to bed and getting up at the same time every day, including weekends
- keeping your bedroom quiet, dark, and cool
- limiting technology use before bed
- avoiding large meals, caffeine, and sugar before bed
- exercising during the day
- preparing for bed with relaxing activities such as reading, taking a bath, or listening to soft music
Alcohol Detox Programs
In general, it’s safe to quit alcohol on your own as long as you have been drinking in moderation. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) defines moderate drinking as having one drink or less per day if you’re a woman and having two drinks or less per day if you’re a man.
However, if you regularly abuse alcohol, engage in frequent binge drinking, and then stop drinking, you may experience severe withdrawal symptoms like confusion, hallucinations, and seizures.
To avoid these symptoms, seek help at an alcohol detoxification program. There, healthcare providers will help you slowly and safely stop drinking alcohol while closely monitoring your physical and mental health.
After you complete the alcohol detox process, your doctor may recommend that you attend an alcohol addiction rehab program. Substance use treatment facilities offer a variety of treatment services to help you control your alcohol use, such as:
- mental health counseling
- support groups
- wellness activities like exercise, meditation, and arts and crafts
- aftercare planning
All of these services can help you reduce alcohol cravings and build a healthy, sober life.
If you or a loved one struggles with alcohol consumption, please contact an Ark Behavioral Health specialist. Our substance abuse and addiction treatment programs offer medical detox, mental health counseling, and many other types of personalized, evidence-based care.
Written by Ark Behavioral Health Editorial Team
©2021 Ark National Holdings, LLC. | All Rights Reserved.
This page does not provide medical advice.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - Do You Get Enough Sleep?
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism - Drinking Levels Defined
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism - Understanding Alcohol Use Disorder
National Institute on Drug Abuse - Alcohol
National Library of Medicine: MedlinePlus - Delirium tremens
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