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Does physical activity aid in the metabolization of alcohol?

  1. May 22, 2005 #1
    Being a teenager and going through a Driver's Ed course, I'm constantly reminded that only time will sober you up after drinking, not a shower, not coffee, not a jog, nothing but time.

    This just seems stupid to me.

    Obviously jogging won't take you from hammered to sober, and I'm not going to have 4 drinks then jog and think I'm fine to drive, but it just seems preposterous that they're trying to tell me that there's a substance that is naturally metabolized by my body, but that can only be metabolized at one constant rate.

    Is NY state just trying to innundate me and my peers with propaganda, or could it actually be true that a general increase in the rate of metabolism as brought on by physical activity won't metabolize alcohol more rapidly than if one were to just sit around and wait for the alcohol to be metabolized?
    Last edited: May 22, 2005
  2. jcsd
  3. May 22, 2005 #2


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    I don't have any scientific evidence to support my guess, but my guess is this: alcohol is metabolized by your liver, not your muscles. Exercising your muscles won't directly increase alcohol metabolism. Of course, the increased blood flow through the liver might make a very slight difference, but I'd bet the dominant effect is the saturation of the liver enzymes involved in the metabolism -- and thus exercise won't do anything at all.

    - Warren
  4. May 22, 2005 #3
    Do you know that your liver enzymes are always saturated when you're intoxicated? It makes sense to me that you'd have some idle capacity for alcohol metabolization while your body is relatively static, a portion of which increased bloodflow would unlock.

    Along with that, I have personally conducted experiments which would further lead me to conclude that the rate of alcohol metabolizm increased with increased cardiovascular activity.
    Last edited: May 22, 2005
  5. May 22, 2005 #4
    Excercise increases the rate of metabolism. Humans can metabolize alcohol to make energy containing molecules such as NADH. So an increase in excercise or energy expenditure will increase the rate of metabolism of everything including alcohol. Running would probably be better than weight training.
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