Beer and chips

FOOD & DRINK 101

Whether you're a drinker or know someone who is, you are bound to learn something about alcohol on this page. We cover in detail how alcohol is absorbed, metabolized, and affected by eating food. After you've finished reading and watching the videos, you'll have a clear picture of why eating food before and during drinking is a must.

FOR DRINKERS,

THE WEB'S MOST INFORMATIVE PAGE!

Beer and chips

FOOD & DRINK 101

Whether you're a drinker or know someone who is, you are bound to learn something about alcohol on this page. We cover in detail how alcohol is absorbed, metabolized, and affected by eating food. After you've finished reading and watching the videos, you'll have a clear picture of why eating food before and during drinking is a must.

FOR DRINKERS, THE WEB'S MOST INFORMATIVE PAGE!

ALCOHOL'S JOURNEY

To better understand how food can affect alcohol absorption and metabolism, we first need to see where the alcohol goes and what the human body does to it.... just follow the numbers to find out*:

  1. Wally guzzles some wine.  A small amount of Alcohol (ALC) is absorbed into the blood directly through the lining of his mouth.
  2. Down the esophagus it goes, not too much ALC absorption happening here.
  3. The stomach is the first major stop.  Three things happen in the stomach:
    1. ALC is SLOWLY absorbed through the stomach wall into the blood which then goes to the liver (5),
    2. some ALC is released into the small intestine (4), and
    3. some of the ALC is inactivated (destroyed) by enzymes in the stomach wall (gastric 1st pass metabolism).
  4. The small intestine is the site of FAST ALC absorption.  With a large surface area, it soaks up ALC like a sponge and sends it via the blood to the liver.
  5. The Liver is the major organ of ALC inactivation. ALC absorbed into the blood through the stomach and small intestine goes to the liver and some gets inactivated as it passes through it (hepatic 1st pass metabolism).
  6. ALC in the blood that is not inactivated leaves the liver and joins with the blood of the main circulation. Now, the heart pumps the ALC all around the body over and over again.
  7. The ALC goes to all of the tissues where it diffuses in. The intoxicating effects of ALC are due to its transfer from the blood to the brain tissue.
  8. ALC goes back to the liver and more gets inactivated. The ALC continues circulating around the body and the liver keeps inactivating more of it over time...that process reduces your blood ALC and causes "sobering up".

WHERE'S WALLY'S WINE?

Wine, Beer, and Cocktail Absorption
Food effects on beer, wine, or cocktail absorption

THE FOOD EFFECT

EVERYBODY KNOWS ABOUT IT

But how does it work?

Now that you have a good idea of where Wally's wine goes, let's take a look at how food can affect it. Unlike many other drugs, alcohol is not available in controlled formulations; there is no such thing as timed-release Tequila or Chardonnay. Eating food before and during drinking is the only practical way to control alcohol other than the speed and amount of your imbibing. If there is little or no food in your stomach when you drink, the alcohol enters your small intestine rapidly and that is where it is absorbed the quickest...THIS IS NOT A GOOD IDEA. Eating food before or during drinking can reduce your peak blood alcohol level through two known mechanisms.  


DECREASING ABSORPTION

Food slows and decreases alcohol absorption

Having food in your stomach slows the transfer of alcohol from the stomach to the small intestine. This

  • allows enzymes in the stomach lining (green) more time to inactivate the alcohol (gastric 1st pass metabolism) and
  • decreases the speed of alcohol going to the liver from the small intestine.

This slow down of alcohol moving through the liver facilitates more efficient alcohol inactivation (hepatic 1st pass metabolism) before it gets into the main circulation.  Overall, less alcohol gets into your circulating blood*.

ENHANCING LIVER INACTIVATION

Enhanced liver inactivation of alcohol

Food has been found to have another effect on alcohol even AFTER it is already in your bloodstream; increasing the liver's speed at inactivating it. This phenomena has been demonstrated by injecting test subjects with alcohol and then feeding them*. In that scenario, eating the food caused an increase in liver alcohol clearance compared to not eating. This effect is most likely caused by food both stimulating increased blood flow to the liver as well as directly increasing liver enzyme activity.  However, the liver's capacity to inactivate alcohol can readily be saturated and food's effect here is limited. In other words, although food can be helpful, you can't rely on eating to sober you up after Alcohol is already in your system.

*SOURCES:  Oneta, SM et. al., Gut 1998; 43:612-619., Ramchandani, VA and O'Conner, S, Alc Res & Health 2006; 29,4: 286-290. Holt, S, CMA J  1981; 124:267-277.


WHEN YOU EAT A SOBAR or any other food before you drink,

you can benefit from both of these effects!

How the SOBAR works and the story behind it, listen to the NEWSRADIO interview...

FEATURED VIDEO

"Hey Poindexter, gimme a Martini!"

SOURCES:  Oneta, SM et. al., Gut  1998; 43:612-619., Holt, S, CMA J  1981; 124:267-277, Jones, AW et. al., Br J Clin Pharmacol  1997; 44:521-526. ©ZENO FUNCTIONAL FOODS, LLC

NOT THAT SURPRISING

Most drinkers underestimate the impact of food.

Most drinkers underestimate the effects of food.

The fact is that most drinkers, even the most experienced, seriously underestimate how much food can affect alcohol absorption. We polled more than 500 drinkers in the US and over 60% thought that a 200 calorie snack, eaten before 2 drinks, would reduce alcohol absorption by 15% or less. Almost 40% thought the food would have no (0-5%) effect! Under controlled conditions*, a SOBAR could reduce peak blood alcohol concentration, on average, by 50%. Now that is food for thought!

*Under a controlled clinical testing environment, SOBAR consumed 5 minutes before a double cocktail equivalent of alcohol and absorption compared to a no food eaten control. Your results may vary.

EXCELLENT CURATED VIDEOS

Facts and messages you should hear.

10 minutes, well spent.

Here is a collection of some of the best public service videos on important alcohol related topics, each only 1 to 3 minutes long. They highlight some key things that all drinkers should know.

WARNING: Some of the following videos contain graphic content and may not be suitable for all viewers.


ALCOHOL ABSORPTION & METABOLISM

From the Australian Drug Foundation

A humorous overview of alcohol absorption, metabolism, and elimination. A real "old school classic".

THE FOOD EFFECT

From BBC One

Drinking after a meal or on an empty stomach, an entertaining real-world experiment.


HEALTH EFFECTS OF ALCOHOL

From the UK* Drinkaware program

Covers some of the main health effects of alcohol, not focused on accidents.   *2 units ≈ 1 pint beer or 1 glass wine

ALCOHOL, VIOLENCE & ADDICTION

A "Commercial" from Sweden

Starts as a typical liquor ad and then takes an unexpected turn.


NEVER DRINK & DRIVE

From the UK THINK series

An amazingly well done and powerful message. "It's a celebration" 50th anniversary advertisement.

DON'T LET A MATE DRIVE DRUNK

From the government of New Zealand

One of the many great and entertaining ads from the New Zealand anti-drink driving campaign.


GLOBAL RESOURCES

Don't just take our word for it...here are some great resources for finding out more about alcohol.

Every effort has been made to be factually correct regarding the information on this page. If you would like to comment on or offer suggestions/corrections about any of its content, please send it in an email to contact@zenofunctionalfoods.com.

GET SPECIAL OFFERS AND NEWS

WARNING

DO NOT DRINK AND DRIVE. SOBAR® DOES NOT PREVENT ALL ALCOHOL ABSORPTION AND YOU CAN STILL BECOME INTOXICATED. IF YOU ARE ALREADY INTOXICATED, SOBAR® WILL NOT SOBER YOU UP OR LOWER YOUR BLOOD ALCOHOL LEVEL. SOBAR® CAN SLOW ALCOHOL ABSORPTION AND YOU MAY EXPERIENCE A DELAYED EFFECT FROM THE ALCOHOL CONSUMED.


AN EVEN BIGGER

WARNING

DRINKING RESPONSIBLY AND EATING FOOD AND/OR A SOBAR® BEFORE YOU DRINK ARE SENSIBLE PRECAUTIONS YOU CAN TAKE WHEN CONSUMING ALCOHOL . HOWEVER, ALCOHOL IS AN INHERENTLY DANGEROUS DRUG WHOSE CONSUMPTION CAN INCREASE THE LIKELIHOOD OF HARM TO YOURSELF OR OTHERS AS WELL AS TO INCREASE YOUR RISK FOR A NUMBER OF SERIOUS MEDICAL CONDITIONS.


Every effort has been made to be factually correct regarding the information on this page. If you would like to comment on or offer suggestions/corrections about any of its content, please send it in an email to contact@zenofunctionalfoods.com.

The SOBAR® is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
The FDA has not evaluated any statements made on this website.

Some images used were obtained from www.unsplash.com and pixabay.com and used here with permission.  

WARNING

DO NOT DRINK AND DRIVE. EATING A SOBAR OR ANY OTHER FOOD: (1) DOES NOT PREVENT ALL ALCOHOL ABSORPTION AND YOU CAN STILL BECOME INTOXICATED. (2) WILL NOT SOBER YOU UP OR LOWER YOUR BLOOD ALCOHOL LEVEL IF YOU ARE ALREADY INTOXICATED. (3) CAN SLOW ALCOHOL ABSORPTION AND YOU MAY EXPERIENCE A DELAYED EFFECT FROM THE ALCOHOL CONSUMED.


GET SPECIAL OFFERS AND NEWS

The SOBAR is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
The FDA has not evaluated any statements made on this website.

Some images used were obtained from www.unsplash.com and pixabay.com and used here with permission.  

WHERE'S WALLY'S WINE?

Wine, Beer, and cocktail absorption

ALCOHOL'S JOURNEY

To better understand how food can affect alcohol absorption and metabolism, we first need to see where the alcohol goes and what the human body does to it....just follow the numbers to find out*:

  1. Wally guzzles some wine.  A small amount of Alcohol (ALC) is absorbed into the blood directly through the lining of his mouth.
  2. Down the esophagus it goes, not too much ALC absorption happening here.
  3. The stomach is the first major stop.  Three things happen in the stomach:
    1. ALC is SLOWLY absorbed through the stomach wall into the blood which then goes to the liver (5),
    2. some ALC is released into the small intestine (4), and
    3. some of the ALC is inactivated (destroyed) by enzymes in the stomach wall (gastric 1st pass metabolism).
  4. The small intestine is the site of FAST ALC absorption.  With a large surface area, it soaks up ALC like a sponge and sends it via the blood to the liver.
  5. The Liver is the major organ of ALC inactivation. ALC absorbed into the blood through the stomach and small intestine goes to the liver and some gets inactivated as it passes through it (hepatic 1st pass metabolism).
  6. ALC in the blood that is not inactivated leaves the liver and joins with the blood of the main circulation. Now, the heart pumps the ALC all around the body over and over again.
  7. The ALC goes to all of the tissues where it diffuses in. The intoxicating effects of ALC are due to its transfer from the blood to the brain tissue.
  8. ALC goes back to the liver and more gets inactivated. The ALC continues circulating around the body and the liver keeps inactivating more of it over time...that process reduces your blood ALC and causes "sobering up".
Food effects on beer, wine, or cocktail absorption

THE FOOD EFFECT

EVERYBODY KNOWS ABOUT IT

But how does it work?

Now that you have a good idea of where Wally's wine goes, let's take a look at how food can affect it. Unlike many other drugs, alcohol is not available in controlled formulations; there is no such thing as timed-release Tequila or Chardonnay. Eating food before and during drinking is the only practical way to control alcohol other than the speed and amount of your imbibing. If there is little or no food in your stomach when you drink, the alcohol enters your small intestine rapidly and that is where it is absorbed the quickest...THIS IS NOT A GOOD IDEA. Eating food before or during drinking can reduce your peak blood alcohol level through two known mechanisms.


DECREASING ABSORPTION

Food slows and decreases alcohol absorption

Having food in your stomach slows the transfer of alcohol from the stomach to the small intestine. This

  • allows enzymes in the stomach lining (green) more time to inactivate the alcohol (gastric 1st pass metabolism) and
  • decreases the speed of alcohol going to the liver from the small intestine.

This slow down of alcohol moving through the liver facilitates more efficient alcohol inactivation (hepatic 1st pass metabolism) before it gets into the main circulation.  Overall, less alcohol gets into your circulating blood*.


ENHANCING LIVER INACTIVATION

Enhanced liver inactivation of alcohol

Food has been found to have another effect on alcohol even AFTER it is already in your bloodstream; increasing the liver's speed at inactivating it. This phenomena has been demonstrated by injecting test subjects with alcohol and then feeding them*. In that scenario, eating the food caused an increase in liver alcohol clearance compared to not eating. This effect is most likely caused by food both stimulating increased blood flow to the liver as well as directly increasing liver enzyme activity.  However, the liver's capacity to inactivate alcohol can readily be saturated and food's effect here is limited. In other words, although food can be helpful, you can't rely on eating to sober you up after Alcohol is already in your system.

*SOURCES:  Oneta, SM et. al., Gut 1998; 43:612-619., Ramchandani, VA and O'Conner, S, Alc Res & Health 2006; 29,4: 286-290. Holt, S, CMA J  1981; 124:267-277.


SOBAR:  The next-gen protein bar.

When you eat a SOBAR or other food before you drink,you can benefit from both of these effects!

How the SOBAR works and the story behind it, listen to the NEWSRADIO interview...

FEATURED VIDEO

"Hey Poindexter, gimme a Martini!"

SOURCES:  Oneta, SM et. al., Gut  1998; 43:612-619., Holt, S, CMA J  1981; 124:267-277, Jones, AW et. al., Br J Clin Pharmacol  1997; 44:521-526. ©ZENO FUNCTIONAL FOODS, LLC

NOT THAT SURPRISING

Most drinkers underestimate the impact of food.

Most drinkers underestimate the effect of food.

The fact is that most drinkers, even the most experienced, seriously underestimate how much food can affect alcohol absorption. We polled more than 500 drinkers in the US and over 60% thought that a 200 calorie snack, eaten before 2 drinks, would reduce alcohol absorption by 15% or less. Almost 40% thought the food would have no (0-5%) effect! Under controlled conditions*, a SOBAR could reduce peak blood alcohol concentration, on average, by 50%. Now that is food for thought!

*Under a controlled clinical testing environment, SOBAR consumed 5 minutes before a double cocktail equivalent of alcohol and absorption compared to a no food eaten control. Your results may vary.


EXCELLENT CURATED VIDEOS

Facts and messages you should hear.


8 minutes, well spent.

Here is a collection of some of the best public interest videos on important alcohol related topics, each only 1 or 2 minutes long. They highlight some key things that all drinkers should know.

WARNING: Some of the following videos contain graphic content and may not be suitable for all viewers.

ALCOHOL ABSORPTION & METABOLISM

From the Australian Drug Foundation

A humorous overview of alcohol absorption, metabolism, and elimination. A real "old school classic".


HEALTH EFFECTS OF ALCOHOL

From the UK Drinkaware program

Covers some of the main health effects of alcohol, not focused on accidents.

ALCOHOL, VIOLENCE & ADDICTION

A "Commercial" from Sweden

Starts as a typical liquor ad and then takes an unexpected turn.


NEVER DRINK & DRIVE

From the UK THINK series

An amazingly well done and powerful message. "It's a celebration" 50th anniversary advertisement.

DON'T LET A FRIEND DRIVE DRUNK

From the government of New Zealand

One of the many great and entertaining ads from the New Zealand anti-drink driving campaign.


GET SPECIAL OFFERS AND NEWS

WARNING

DO NOT DRINK AND DRIVE. SOBAR® DOES NOT PREVENT ALL ALCOHOL ABSORPTION AND YOU CAN STILL BECOME INTOXICATED. IF YOU ARE ALREADY INTOXICATED, SOBAR® WILL NOT SOBER YOU UP OR LOWER YOUR BLOOD ALCOHOL LEVEL. SOBAR® CAN SLOW ALCOHOL ABSORPTION AND YOU MAY EXPERIENCE A DELAYED EFFECT FROM THE ALCOHOL CONSUMED.


AN EVEN BIGGER

WARNING

DRINKING RESPONSIBLY AND EATING FOOD AND/OR A SOBAR® BEFORE YOU DRINK ARE SENSIBLE PRECAUTIONS YOU CAN TAKE WHEN CONSUMING ALCOHOL . HOWEVER, ALCOHOL IS AN INHERENTLY DANGEROUS DRUG WHOSE CONSUMPTION CAN INCREASE THE LIKELIHOOD OF HARM TO YOURSELF OR OTHERS AS WELL AS TO INCREASE YOUR RISK FOR A NUMBER OF SERIOUS MEDICAL CONDITIONS.


Every effort has been made to be factually correct regarding the information on this page. If you would like to comment on or offer suggestions/corrections about any of its content, please send it in an email to contact@zenofunctionalfoods.com.

The SOBAR® is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
The FDA has not evaluated any statements made on this website.

Some images used were obtained from www.unsplash.com and pixabay.com and used here with permission.  

EXCELLENT CURATED VIDEOS

Facts and messages
you should hear.

10 minutes, well spent.

Here is a collection of some of the best public service videos on important alcohol related topics, each only 1 to 3 minutes long. They highlight some key things that all drinkers should know.

WARNING: Some of the following videos contain graphic content and may not be suitable for all viewers.


ALCOHOL ABSORPTION & METABOLISM

From the Australian Drug Foundation

A humorous overview of alcohol absorption, metabolism, and elimination. A real "old school classic".


THE FOOD EFFECT

From BBC One

Drinking after a meal or on an empty stomach, an entertaining real-world experiment.


HEALTH EFFECTS OF ALCOHOL

From the UK Drinkaware program

Covers some of the main health effects of alcohol, not focused on accidents.    *2 units ≈ 1 pint beer or 1 glass wine


ALCOHOL, VIOLENCE & ADDICTION

A "Commercial" from Sweden

Starts as a typical liquor ad and then takes an unexpected turn.


NEVER DRINK & DRIVE

From the UK THINK series

An amazingly well done and powerful message. "It's a celebration" 50th anniversary advertisement.


DON'T LET A MATE DRIVE DRUNK

From the government of New Zealand

One of the many great and entertaining ads from the New Zealand anti-drink driving campaign.

GLOBAL RESOURCES

Don't just take our word for it...here are some great resources for finding out more about alcohol.

Every effort has been made to be factually correct regarding the information on this page. If you would like to comment on or offer suggestions/corrections about any of its content, please send it in an email to contact@zenofunctionalfoods.com.

WARNING

DO NOT DRINK AND DRIVE. EATING A SOBAR OR ANY OTHER FOOD: (1) DOES NOT PREVENT ALL ALCOHOL ABSORPTION AND YOU CAN STILL BECOME INTOXICATED. (2) WILL NOT SOBER YOU UP OR LOWER YOUR BLOOD ALCOHOL LEVEL IF YOU ARE ALREADY INTOXICATED. (3) CAN SLOW ALCOHOL ABSORPTION AND YOU MAY EXPERIENCE A DELAYED EFFECT FROM THE ALCOHOL CONSUMED.

GET SPECIAL OFFERS AND NEWS

The SOBAR is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. The FDA has not evaluated any statements made on this website.

Some images used were obtained from www.unsplash.com and pixabay.com and used here with permission.