How to Get Alcohol Out of Your System

how to get alcohol out of your system

Are you wanting to sober up fast or pass a court-ordered sobriety test? There are many myths about how to sober up quickly or speed up the body’s metabolism of alcohol.

If you’re wondering how to get alcohol out of your system, the truth is you can’t speed up how your body processes alcohol. Most of the home remedies don’t work, and some are even dangerous.

There’s no way to speed up the process, but you can help yourself recover after drinking more efficiently. We have all you need to know.

Here’s a guide to getting alcohol out of your system.

What Is “Flushing” Alcohol Out of Your System?

Most people consider “flushing” to be a quick alcohol detox. You may want to remove traces of alcohol from your system to sober up or pass a breath or hair alcohol test. 

Sometimes people will try drinking large quantities of water, taking herbal supplements, or fasting, but none of these work for removing the traces of alcohol from your system.

Understanding How the Body Metabolizes Alcohol

Generally, alcohol stays in the body up for to 12 hours after ingestion. That means a blood test will detect alcohol up to 12 hours after your last drink. Alcohol is detectable for about two months via hair testing.

A breathalyzer test can detect the presence of alcohol for about 13 to 24 hours, depending on the amount of alcohol you consume. Urine tests will detect alcohol for 12 to 80 hours after ingestion, depending on how much you consume.

Alcohol tests vary in sensitivity. They all rely on the detection of ethanol or ethyl alcohol in the body.

Your body breaks down alcohol at a rate of one serving per hour, but the traces of alcohol remain in your system much longer. Alcohol is typically consumed orally. It goes to the stomach and is absorbed as it moves through your small intestine.

It then moves into the bloodstream and remains there until the liver filters it out. Once this occurs, you begin to sober up, but traces of alcohol still remain.

Can Exercise Flush Out Alcohol?

Some people believe you can “sweat” alcohol out of the body. That’s simply a myth.

The liver breaks down alcohol at a steady rate of one drink per hour, and exercise does not speed up this process. Exercise can benefit someone who has been drinking by increasing oxygenation and blood flow.

This may help your hangover, but it won’t affect the metabolism of alcohol in your body. There are risks of exercising if you’re still under the influence.

Alcohol impairs judgment, coordination, and balance. Wait until you’re sober to engage in any physical activity.

Can Greasy Foods Flush Out Alcohol?

After a night of heavy drinking, some people turn to eating heavy carbs or greasy foods to try and sober up. Although you may feel better temporarily, eating greasy or fatty foods will not flush alcohol out of your system any faster.

Eating before, during, or after drinking may absorb alcohol that is still in your stomach. However, it won’t change how fast the alcohol is metabolized in your system.

Can Cranberry Juice Flush Out Alcohol? 

Cranberry juice is a popular remedy for many ailments, including urinary tract infections (UTIs). Some people assume it helps flush out alcohol from the body, but it does not.

Cranberry juice may help you feel better and prevent dehydration. Lack of hydration can worsen hangovers and recovery time after a night of drinking.

Can Pickle Juice Flush Out Alcohol?

Pickle juice is high in sodium, which can help with the symptoms of a hangover. It might help restore electrolyte imbalance and hydrate the body.

There is no scientific evidence that pickle juice can speed up or eliminate alcohol from your system. Pickle juice is not the answer if you’re facing an alcohol test, but it can help stabilize blood sugar in some people.

If you’re worrying about how long alcohol stays in your system, it may be time to evaluate your alcohol use and get some help if you need it.

Can a Hot Bath or Sauna Help Eliminate Alcohol From Your System?

If you’ve had too much to drink, a hot bath or sauna can increase blood flow and circulation. It may feel soothing and reduce your anxiety, but it will not flush alcohol from your system.

Getting into water while you’re under the influence is dangerous. Alcohol is a depressant, and intoxication greatly increases your chance of drowning. 

Wait until you’re no longer feeling the effects of alcohol before getting into a bathtub, hot tub, sauna, or pool.

Can Drinks Like Gatorade Flush Out Alcohol?

Alcohol is a diuretic. That means it causes fluid loss and can affect your electrolyte balance. Drinks that replenish electrolytes like Gatorade can make you feel better if you have a hangover.

They can replenish the body but will not flush alcohol out of the body any faster. 

Can You “Sleep” It Off?

Alcohol is a toxin that depletes the body’s energy. After a night of heavy drinking, you may feel exhausted or simply pass out. 

Sleep can help the body rest as it processes alcohol, but it doesn’t speed up its metabolism. Alcohol is a depressant. If you drink too much, it can suppress your breathing, which puts you at risk.

Taking sleep medications while under the influence is extremely dangerous and can be life-threatening.

How to Get Alcohol Out of Your System

Often, people with alcohol use disorder will look for ways to get alcohol out of their systems quickly. The truth is this doesn’t really work.

If you’re consuming large quantities of alcohol or can’t seem to stop drinking once you start, your health is at risk. What may begin with a few drinks with friends on the weekend or after work can soon escalate to a dependence on alcohol.

Alcoholism is a progressive disease that destroys lives, families, and careers. If you suspect that you have an alcohol addiction, consider seeking help to put your life back on track. 

An addiction of any kind is not a moral failure. If you’re suffering from an addiction, you aren’t alone. There is caring and compassionate help available.

What Affects How Long Alcohol Stays in the Body?

Although people try, it’s difficult to speed up the metabolism of alcohol in the body. Several factors impact how long alcohol remains in your system. 

Your Body’s Natural Metabolism

Some people have a faster metabolism than others, and this can affect the time it takes to metabolize alcohol. This is genetic and not something you can manipulate.

Consuming Carbonated Drinks

Carbonated drinks are absorbed faster than other liquids because they create pressure in the stomach. This pressure causes liquids to move through the small intestine at a faster rate.

You may feel the effects of alcohol faster when it’s consumed with carbonated beverages, and your body may metabolize the alcohol at a faster rate.

Drinking on an Empty Stomach

Your body metabolizes alcohol as it moves through the small intestine. It takes longer for alcohol to move from your stomach to the small intestine when you have a full stomach.

Your Weight

People who weigh more metabolize alcohol slower than those who weigh less. Alcohol is stored in fat cells, and the fat cells of the liver impede its metabolism.

That means the more you weigh or the higher your body fat, the longer alcohol remains in your body.

Liver Health

Excessive alcohol use over time damages the liver. A healthy liver metabolizes alcohol faster than a damaged liver.

Alcoholism can result in liver problems, including scarring, fatty liver, and cirrhosis. Some people recovering from alcoholism will see an improvement in their liver function over time.

How Quickly You Drink

The body metabolizes alcohol as you consume it. Alcohol metabolizes at the rate of half of your alcohol intake in four to six hours.

The more you drink over a short period of time, the longer the alcohol will remain in your system. The rate of metabolizing alcohol in the body by half doesn’t change if you drink more or faster.


There are a variety of medications that slow down the rate your body metabolizes alcohol. Taking certain medications may lengthen the time you test positive for alcohol or how long you feel the effects of alcohol.

Metabolizing alcohol is a complex biological process. The time it takes to metabolize or flush alcohol from the system varies from person to person. 

Getting Help for an Alcohol Addiction

Although you may have your reasons for wanting to flush alcohol from your system, the truth is there’s not much you can do to alter this biological process.

If you’re concerned about how to get alcohol out of your system, the bigger concern may be whether you need alcohol treatment. There is help and hope if you’re addicted to alcohol.

At Purpose Healing Center, we offer an individualized approach to alcohol and drug treatment. Our goal is that every resident gets the tools and treatment they need for long-lasting recovery.

Reach out to Purpose Healing Center today to begin your journey toward a healthier, happier life.