Clicky

Does Carbonation Slow the Rate of Alcohol Absorption? (2023)

Last Updated on December 28, 2022 by Lydia Martin

Do you get drunk faster when you consume alcoholic drinks with carbonated drinks? Many believe carbonation dilutes alcohol concentration, but is it a fact or a myth? 

Does carbonation slow the rate of alcohol absorption or not? Read on to find out. 

Can Carbonation Slow Down Alcohol Absorption? 

man drinking alcohol

No. Carbonation does not slow down but speeds up the alcohol absorption, making you get drunk faster.  

Carbonated alcohol gets you drunk faster than non-carbonated alcoholic drinks. As you drink carbonated alcohol, you will feel bloated because your stomach is distended from the bubbles. 

As you consume carbonated alcoholic drinks, the pressure in the stomach and small intestine forces the alcohol to be absorbed by the bloodstream quickly. 

Why Carbonation Speeds Up Alcohol Absorption 

Carbonation speeds up alcohol absorption because when we consume a carbonated alcoholic drink, the pressure inside the stomach increases. 

The pressure will force more alcohol into the bloodstream by the stomach and small intestine linings and speeds up the alcohol absorption. 

Without carbonation, alcoholic drinks with a low alcohol content will not get you drunk faster, especially if not consumed at a faster rate. 

What Happens When Alcohol Is Mixed With Carbonated Drinks 

3 glasses of alcohol

When the alcohol is mixed with carbonated drinks, it speeds up the rate of alcohol absorption. 

The carbonation increases the pressure inside the stomach, so when it is mixed with alcohol, the alcohol is forced into the bloodstream by the stomach lining, making you drunk quicker. 

Also, when alcohol is mixed with carbonated drinks, it improves the drink’s taste.

The taste profile makes you drink at a faster and higher rate, making you intoxicated quicker. 

How Does Carbonation Affect Alcohol Absorption? 

The carbonation will distend the stomach, and it will cause the alcohol to move quicker from your stomach to the small intestine. 

The stomach only absorbs about 20% of alcohol then the rest is absorbed through the small intestine. 

From your small intestine, the alcohol will enter the bloodstream and dissolve in your blood’s water. 

The blood will carry the alcohol throughout your body and will induce blood alcohol content to rise. 

Carbonation’s Effect On Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) 

Before you feel the effect of alcohol on your system, it is already in your bloodstream and causes your blood alcohol content to rise. 

As you consume carbonated alcoholic drinks, the alcohol is absorbed through the stomach and reaches the bloodstream. 

The alcohol does not have to go to the colon because the pressure pushes the alcohol into the bloodstream. 

Why Does Carbonated Alcohol Get You Drunk Faster? 

man holding alcohol

Carbonated alcohol gets you drunk faster for two reasons.

First, the carbonation creates pressure that forces the alcohol into the bloodstream by the stomach and small intestine. 

Second, carbonated alcohol is tastier and easier to drink, so you tend to consume it faster.

Combining the pressure, fast and high consumption, you will get drunk faster than you think. 

What Actually Slows Down The Rate Of Alcohol Absorption 

Based on the University of Notre Dame, food slows down the process of alcohol absorption [1]. 

People get drunk faster when consuming alcohol on an empty stomach because food prevents alcohol from passing faster into your small intestine [2]. 

Also, slower alcohol consumption and low alcohol content slow down the rate of alcohol absorption.

If you don’t want to get drunk fast, create a drinking pattern that will not get your BAC to rise quickly. 

FAQs

Does carbonation increase alcohol levels?

No, carbonation does not increase the alcohol levels of a drink. However, it can increase the rate of your alcohol absorption.   

Why are alcoholic drinks carbonated?

Alcoholic drinks are carbonated for added tangy taste and sparkle and to prevent spoilage. 

The amount of gas the water absorbs increases as the temperature decreases and pressure increases.

Some will agree that carbonated drinks are tastier than non-carbonated drinks. 

Final Thoughts

Carbonation does not slow the rate of alcohol absorption; instead, it speeds up the process. The carbonation will not dilute the alcohol concentration but makes the drink tastier.  

As you consume alcohol with carbonation, the pressure will force the alcohol into your bloodstream by the stomach and the small intestine. 

When pressure forces the alcohol to get into the small intestine, the alcohol will be quickly absorbed by the bloodstream, speeding up the rate of alcohol absorption. 

Also, since carbonated alcoholic drinks are tastier, you may not notice the rapid rate of consumption that may lead to faster intoxication. 

References:

  1. https://mcwell.nd.edu/your-well-being/physical-well-being/alcohol/absorption-rate-factors/ 
  2. https://www.healthline.com/health/drinking-on-an-empty-stomach 

Leave a Comment