How quickly is alcohol broken down in the body?

1 Answer
Nov 21, 2015

On average, it takes about one hour for your body to break down one unit of alcohol. However, this can vary depending on your age, gender, and whether you have eaten.


One unit is equivalent to 10ml or 8g of pure alcohol. 2 units are in a pint of low-strength beer or cider. If you drink one pint of beer, your body takes about two hours to break it down. If you have a few drinks at night, the alcohol can be still in your blood in the morning.

Most (90%) of the metabolism, or breaking down, of alcohol from a toxic substance to water and carbon dioxide is performed by
the liver with the rest excreted through the lungs (allowing alcohol breath tests), through the kidneys (into urine) and in sweat.