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Does Alcohol Affect Women Differently Than Men?

Learn how alcohol affects women differently than men in this Howcast video featuring addictions specialist Paul J. Rinaldi, Ph.D.


People are often curious about the effects of alcohol on women vs. the effects of alcohol on men. In fact, alcohol does affect women differently than men for a couple of reasons.

The first is that women actually in their body mass have less water than men have in their bodies. So when they drink, they actually have higher concentrations of alcohol sitting in their bodies than do men. Another cause of the difference for women is that women have less of an enzyme in their body naturally occurring that breaks down alcohol. So a man and a woman who are of the same weight and body stature will have very different effects of the same amount of alcohol. And that is, again, because a woman will break down the alcohol much more slowly than the man. And also will absorb the alcohol at a higher rate than the man will.

So a woman will get drunk more quickly than a man on the same amount of alcohol and will stay affected by the alcohol for a longer period of time than a man. Because of this, women and men when they're drinking together, a woman really has to think about how much she's drinking in comparison to her male companion.

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