Whiskey is one of the many popular hard drinks that many people enjoy. It is a distilled liquor, which means it has a higher alcohol content than other drinks like beer and wine. If you drink whiskey moderately, it should not pose a problem, but if you drink too much, you will get drunk.
How much alcohol is in whiskey?
Typical preparations of whiskey contain about 40% alcohol by volume (ABV). In other words, if you have 10 fluid ounces of the drink, it has 4 fluid ounces of pure alcohol.
To know how much alcohol is in a particular brand of whiskey, check the label on the bottle. It should indicate the percent ABV. Other times, the labels have a “proof” rating – that number corresponds to twice the ABV. For example, if you find “80 proof” written on the label, that means the drink has 40% ABV.
Some brands of whiskey have as high as 60% ABV, which can make you drunk sooner.
How many shots of whiskey will I need to get drunk?
By definition, one shot of hard liquor is 1.5 fluid ounces. Not all shot glasses are the same, though; they often have volumes of 1 to 1.25 fluid ounces.
For common kinds of whiskey, which have 40% ABV, 4 to 5 fluid ounces is enough to make you drunk. With that, around 4 shots of whiskey are enough to intoxicate you.
There are exceptions, though. Not all people will get drunk after 4 shots of whiskey, as there are other factors that influence the effects of alcohol on the body.
Why do some people get drunk faster when drinking whiskey?
How soon you get drunk depends on your tolerance for alcohol. The higher your tolerance, the more whiskey you can drink before feeling the effects of intoxication. Alcohol tolerance depends on a number of factors:
- Age: Generally, younger people are more tolerant to alcohol than older ones.
- Sex: Men can often take more drinks before getting drunk than women can.
- Frequency of drinking: If you are used to drinking often, you can take more shots of whiskey before feeling its effects.
- Body weight: Heavier people tend to be more tolerant to alcohol than lighter ones.
- Food intake: Those who have eaten right before drinking can tolerate more alcohol than people who drink on an empty stomach.
- Sleep: People who have not had enough sleep the night before they drink are less tolerant to alcohol than those who were well-rested.
- Metabolism: Some people’s bodies can process alcohol faster than others, so they are more tolerant.
At the end of the day, it is you who would best know your tolerance for alcohol. When you drink, keep in mind how many shots of whiskey you’ve had before feeling tipsy. That way, you would know when to stop drinking.
How soon will I feel the effects of whiskey?
Generally, you will feel the effects of alcohol within 30 minutes to 1 hour of your first drink. But if you take whiskey shots too fast – like more than 1 shot per 30 minutes – then you’ll feel the effects much sooner. Also, drinking this quickly is dangerous, as the intoxication will be more intense.
If you want to enjoy your whiskey without getting drunk too soon, below are some tips.
How to drink whiskey without getting drunk too fast
When dealing with any hard liquor, the best way to drink is slowly. Take small sips of whiskey instead of gulping down the entire glass in one go. When you take it slowly, less alcohol will enter your body. In turn, your body will have time to process the alcohol. That way, excess alcohol will not linger in your bloodstream and make you tipsy.
Compare that to what happens if you take lots of whiskey shots in a short time. A lot of alcohol would go into your body, and it will accumulate in your bloodstream. The alcohol will soon reach your brain, and you’ll feel the effects much more quickly.
Also, mixing whiskey with other non-alcoholic beverages works well. That way, the alcohol will be diluted, and you’ll take less of it with each drink. If you consume these drinks slowly as well, then your body would receive even less alcohol.
Eating a proper meal before drinking whiskey is also advisable. When your stomach is full, it will take more time to absorb alcohol into your bloodstream, so you won’t get drunk as fast. But this doesn’t mean you can take shot after shot; doing that will still make you drunk quickly.
Most importantly, it helps to know your limits. If you know you start to get tipsy after, say, 4 shots of whiskey, don’t take more than that. Better yet, make sure to drink less than 3 shots each time. Never let anyone pressure you into drinking more than what you can tolerate.
How to stay safe when drinking whiskey
The first rule is to drink moderately. As a rule of thumb, your liver can eliminate 1 fluid ounce of alcohol per hour. That means if you’ve consumed 5 fluid ounces of alcohol by 10pm, it will be at least 5 hours before all of that alcohol is flushed out of your body. With that, you cannot drive until it’s past 3am.
If you know you have to drive, the best thing to do is to avoid drinking altogether. If you have, and you’re feeling some of the effects of alcohol in your body, ask someone sober to drive for you. Driving when you have taken alcohol is never worth the risk.
Unfortunately, there is no way to speed up the body’s alcohol processing system. So if you want to avoid the dangers of intoxication, the only way is to drink less.
Don’t forget to drink water as well when you drink whiskey. In between shots, take at least one glass of water. This will prevent dehydration, and it will keep the effects of alcohol at bay.