Males and Females Versus Alcohol.
Regardless of the reason people drink alcohol, there’s no question it can have an effect on us in ways we may not fully understand. Having the occasional alcoholic drink usually does not affect us the same way as someone who may drink the same amount. With that in mind, does someone’s gender make a difference with how alcohol affects them? Probably more than you may realize.
Females generally have less water in their bodies than males do. This water will make up roughly 52% of a female’s body, as compared to 61% of a male’s body. This will generally mean that a male’s body can dilute more alcohol than a female’s body can, and more alcohol will stay in a female’s body. This can cause females to achieve a higher Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) compared to males, even after consuming fewer drinks.
Females and males will differ with their ability to metabolize any alcohol which they have consumed. This difference is due to the variances in the amount of alcohol and the activity of alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH), which is the enzyme responsible for metabolizing the alcohol. This enzyme helps break down the alcohol before it reaches the bloodstream, making males more tolerant to alcohol consumption.
The ADH that males have in their stomach and liver is highly active. The ADH in the stomach of males can reduce the absorption of alcohol by 30%. However, females have almost no ADH in their stomach. Females will absorb more alcohol into their bloodstream. Also, the ADH in the liver of females is less active than the ADH from the male liver. Looking at both of these factors, these gender differences in alcohol metabolism will result in increased BACs for females compared to males if males and females consume the same amount of alcohol.
All of this means that just because you may be the same weight and size as someone else and that you’ve each drank the same amount of alcohol starting at the same time, it doesn’t mean your level of alcohol still within your bloodstream will be the same. Having the opportunity to use a single-use breathalyzer from Not Your Child Corp is an excellent way to determine your alcohol level before getting behind the wheel of a vehicle.
One thing to remember that being impaired by alcohol is not the same as being drunk. Alcohol impairment affects your judgement, decision-making, reaction time and even your perception. Drinking coffee or sleeping it off are all just myths. It really takes time to metabolize alcohol and it’s different for everyone, based on their size and gender.
Making assumptions when it comes to the level of alcohol still within your body is a big mistake. It’s a mistake which does not need to happen. Not Your Child Corp is there to help you make a safe decision. Making the determination that you’re safe and legal to drive is not about how you’re feeling and making a comparison to someone else of the same size. It’s about using technology which is readily available. All you have to do is reach out for it.
Scott Marshall has spent over 30 years promoting road safety in many jurisdictions. He has been a road safety journalist since 2005. Scott was also an on-air judge on the Discovery Network’s Canada’s Worst Driver during their first 3 seasons on the air. Not YourChildCorp. is proud to have Scott @Safedriver as a frequent contributor, his insights are irreplaceable.