How Long Does Alcohol Stay in Your System?

385 people die from excessive alcohol consumption yearly; that’s more than one person per day. The problem is that several people don’t admit they have a problem until something goes wrong. An important detail is knowing more about the way drinking affects you. Firstly, how long does alcohol stay in your system?

The length of time alcohol stays in your body depends on several factors. Factors like how much you drink and how quickly your body processes certain substances matter here. Technically, it would be best if you didn’t push yourself to the extreme at any point. Still, this knowledge is generally favorable for managing your schedule.

How Long Does Alcohol Stay in Your System?

Usually, alcohol stays in the bloodstream for at least 6 hours. It can also last longer, depending on the part of your body you’re considering and similar aspects.

So, how long does alcohol stay in your system? As mentioned above, you need to consider several factors when answering this question. People often discount such details, especially if they ‘only have a few beers,’ but it is serious. Even drinking beer can impair judgment and cause the alcohol in your system to go beyond the permitted limit for driving.

Additionally, some medications are never meant to be taken while you have alcohol in your bloodstream. In such cases, being cautious with your alcohol consumption becomes even more critical. The following are the core factors that determine how quickly alcohol will leave your body.


Firstly, your metabolism plays a crucial role in this process. It controls how fast your body breaks down substances and digests them, including all alcoholic drinks. The faster your metabolism, the quicker the alcohol will leave your system.

You can eat metabolism-enhancing foods and vitamins. However, don’t expect them to significantly influence the results.


Your age affects your activity levels, metabolism, and diet. These factors, in turn, affect how quickly alcohol leaves your system. Typically, the older you are, the longer your body takes to process the substance. Hence, it is best to be careful.

Additionally, you also need to consider the medications you are taking. Alcohol can react poorly with some standard OTC or prescription meds, so ask your doctor if you need to time your consumption.


Female bodies tend to take longer than male bodies to process alcohol. So, if you drink the same alcohol content as your male counterpart, you will need longer to flush it out of your system entirely.

Body Composition

Your body composition and lifestyle also play a role in determining how long it will take you to be precise. The shorter you are, the less water you have in your bloodstream; hence, the greater the alcohol concentration.

This detail also means that you’ll get drunk much faster than your taller friends, so always consider that when you drink socially.

Additionally, the more active you are, the more quickly alcohol will flush out your system. So:

A: Don’t drink too much

B: Schedule a workout the morning after a social event to push as much of it out as possible.

Tests to Check if You have Alcohol in Your System

We mentioned that alcohol might leave the bloodstream after 6 hours. However, it takes longer to go to the other parts. Essentially, the following is the time it stays in different body parts:

  1. Blood – 6 hours
  2. Breath – 12-24 hours
  3. Saliva – 12-24 hours
  4. Urine – 72 hours
  5. Hair – Up to 90 days

There are specific tests to determine how much alcohol remains in your system. Remember that alcohol has a half-life of 5 hours, so the test can tell how much you consumed at a certain point with some accuracy.

How to Get Alcohol Out of Your System

Removing alcohol from your system is of utmost importance, and you should consider reducing intake to keep things manageable. Following are some of the most effective ways to remove alcohol from your body effectively:

1.    Hydrate Yourself

Increasing water concentration in your body is one of the best ways to flush the alcohol out. The less dehydrated you are, the less your body will absorb the alcohol, allowing you to remain sober and in control. It will make drinking less tough on your body and reduce the chances of developing alcohol dependency.

2.    Drink Green Tea or Other Antioxidants

Green tea is an antioxidant and can help flush the alcohol out of your system. The same rule applies to other antioxidant drinks like cranberry juice, berries, etc. Green tea also has a moderate amount of caffeine, stimulating your senses that feel dulled due to alcohol.

However, caffeine alone isn’t a cure; it is better to flush out than cancel the effect.

3.    Eat Green Vegetables

Green vegetables also have detoxifying properties and are good at reducing alcohol concentration in the body. Eating more of them will also supplement your body with the necessary nutrients and vitamins to clean and strengthen your liver.

Hence, we recommend increasing green vegetable intake after drinking to return your body to its alcohol-free state more quickly.

4.    Exercise

Sweating it out is another excellent way to remove alcohol from your system. Keep hydrating yourself while you’re working out or running, and your body’s alcohol concentration will drop significantly. This method is adequate and the best option for people with active lifestyles who like drinking socially once in a while.

5.    Consume the Right Electrolytes

Consuming the correct electrolytes can also make alcohol decomposition and flushing much quicker. For example, Gatorade is a good source of electrolytes, and drinking it can reduce alcohol concentration in your body.

6.    Sleep

Sleeping the alcohol off is an excellent way to remove it from your system. However, this method is more effective if you are careful about how much alcohol you consume and drink in moderation. It is generally best to take this approach for drinking because it prevents cases of alcohol dependency.

Final Thoughts

We hope this blog post helped answer your question, ‘how long does alcohol stay in your system?’ To sum up, it stays for 6-72 hours in most body parts and for up to 90 hours in hair. The best way to flush it out is to stay hydrated, drink green tea, sleep, and eat green vegetables.

Please read our other blogs for more information on alcohol and drug-related topics. If you or a loved one is struggling, you can use our substance abuse rehab directory to find help near you.

About the author
Jason Klimkowski
Jason Klimkowski enjoys leading our SEO and Content strategy. He credits his comfort in navigating the Digital Marketing space to his spontaneous curiosity and broad industry background. Jason earned his MBA from the University of South Florida and his BBA from the University of North Florida. When not creating content, he enjoys pursuing pelagics, reading about mental health, working inside with ample natural light, and being outdoors.

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