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When a person drinks alcohol, the alcohol builds up in their bloodstream. The liver is the primary organ for eliminating alcohol, and it needs time to filter the blood and break the alcohol down. The half-life, meaning the length of time the substance will remain in one’s system until the concentration in one’s blood has been reduced by half, of alcohol is four to five hours. However, about five half-lives are required to fully eliminate alcohol from one’s body. Hence, it will take about 25 hours for your body to clear all the alcohol. Research indicates that 90% of alcohol in the body is eliminated by the liver. While it is a complicated process, your liver essentially does this in two phases. First, it converts toxic substances to highly reactive metabolites and then excretes these toxins. Flushing alcohol out of the body is different from the internal liver metabolism required to break it down into by-products ready for excretion.

Drink Plenty Of Fluids

Even moderate levels of alcohol have a dehydrating effect, and drinking water can slow this effect down. Although the liver processes most of the alcohol in the body, drinking water may help combat dehydration and dilute alcohol concentrations in surrounding body tissues. 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. Experts recommend drinking a minimum of 64 oz of water, daily. To help flush alcohol out of your body it is best to increase your daily amount of water to between 80 oz and 100 oz. In addition to water, you can drink sports drinks that contain electrolytes. Electrolytes are essential minerals that help you remain hydrated. You can also try drinking green tea, which contains antioxidants that help alcohol exit your body faster.

Eat Nutritious Foods

Although you may not feel hungry or in the mood to eat, certain foods can speed up alcohol metabolism. Your body needs proper nutrients, especially vitamin C and niacin, to flush out alcohol. Probiotic foods (e.g., kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut, etc.) as well as green vegetables and fruit, can enhance liver function and aid in the processing of alcohol. Load up on protein from fish, lean meats, and legumes. Chocolate will release endorphins which can help improve your mood. Beets also help clean the liver in addition to adding oxygen to your blood.

For Information and Support

If you are concerned for yourself or a loved one regarding substance abuse and/ or addiction, we recommend reaching out for help as soon as possible. If left untreated, substance abuse can result in long lasting and potentially life-threatening consequences. Keep in mind: you are not alone! There is an entire network of professionals that are available to help and support you and your loved one throughout the recovery process. The earlier you seek support, the sooner your loved one can return to a happy, healthy, and fulfilling life.

Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions regarding our specific program at Haven House Addiction Treatment and/ or general substance abuse and/ or addiction treatment related information. Our highly trained staff is readily available to discuss how we might best be able to help you and your loved one. We can be reached by phone at 424-258-6792. You are also welcomed to contact anytime us via email at admissions@hhtxc.com.

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