How Alcohol Affects Your Body


Credit: Terry Doyle

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How much you’ve eaten

The less food in your stomach before you drink, the faster alcohol is absorbed into your bloodstream, says Sam Zakhari, PhD, director of the Division of Metabolism and Health Effects for the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA).

So have a salad beforehand (any food works, not just greasy, fatty fare) or order pasta with your wine at dinner. Just don’t drink first and eat second, Zakhari adds. "By the time you eat, the alcohol will have already passed from your stomach to your bloodstream, and you’ll already be buzzed."

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