You are here Home » Featured » Understanding Your Alcohol Limits: A Complete Guide

Understanding Your Alcohol Limits: A Complete Guide


Almost everyone has had this experience, you go out for a few drinks and end up drinking just a bit more than you’re prepared to handle.

Maybe it’s your normal amount, but all of a sudden you’re unable to maintain it. What happened? How did you pass your limit without knowing?

What kinds of alcohol limits are there and when do you know you’ve reached yours?

We want to help break it down. Keep reading to learn about your physical alcohol limit, your legal alcohol limit, and more.

Physical Limits: How Can You Tell?

There are a few factors that contribute to your ability to tolerate alcohol. Everyone has different alcohol limitations (although the majority of people fall within a limited range).

You can help identify your limits by looking into some of your factors.


When you’re young it might seem like you can drink anyone under the table without consequences. There’s a reason for this!

As you get older you process alcohol more slowly. The drinks hit you harder and they sneak up on you. You’re more prone to hangovers and drunken sleepiness with age.

Fitness and Health

The heavier you are the more you’ll be able to drink before you hit your tolerance limit. This works for both muscle and fat, but people with a lot of muscle will have a higher tolerance than those with excess fat.

If you lose weight your tolerance will be lower. You might be confused when you go back to the bar after weight loss and the drinks catch up to you! 

Food Intake

Food and water slow the absorption of alcohol. There’s a reason that the advice of water in-between shots is so prevalent. This is also one of the reasons that bars serve food, even if it’s just a bowl of chips or peanuts at the table. 

Eating more before you drink will make a big difference. 

Other Factors

While these are primary factors, there are other things you can take into consideration. The more you drink the more you can drink. This is how alcoholism starts. You need more and more alcohol to get the same feeling. 

If you take any medications (especially psychiatric medications) you may have a lower tolerance than you’re used to. 

Your sex also plays a small role.

What About Legal Limits?

If you need to drive home from your outing you need to pay attention to your legal alcohol limit. The federal legal limit is a blood alcohol content of .08%.

This might sound low, but driving a car is dangerous when you’re not in complete control. Going over this can result in a DUI and you’ll need to get a DUI lawyer, a cost that you probably don’t want to pay right now. 

.08% is different for everyone but it averages at one or two drinks of average strength after a short waiting period. Men and people who are heavier may lean more towards two, or even three.

This means that while going out for a drink is okay, it’s best to keep it at one. Even if your head feels clear, you’re putting yourself and others at risk. 

Do You Know Your Alcohol Limits?

Before you head out for a night on the town, make sure that you’re aware of your alcohol limits. You don’t want to ruin a fun night with a sour stomach, a future hangover, a blackout, or dangerous driving.

Keep yourself and the people around you safe!

For more posts on your favorite topics, visit the rest of our site!

You may also like