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How to Sober Up Fast

You are out drinking and having a great time with friends, when you stumble and fall or begin to slur your words. This makes you realize that maybe you have had a little too much to drink. This is a common scenario you might find yourself in, and fortunately for you, there are some time-tested ways to help you sober up. By taking the necessary steps and avoiding flawed tactics, you may be able to sober up quickly and avoid a hangover the next day.

Method One of Three:
Taking the Necessary Steps to Sober Up
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  1. 1
    Stop drinking immediately. Do this once you realize you are getting a little more drunk than you wanted to. Put whatever drink you have in your hand down.[1]
    • It takes your body one hour to process every drink you consume. So if you have consumed two or three drinks in an hour, then it will take two to three hours for your body to process it completely.
  2. 2
    Drink water. Ask the bartender for a full glass of water, or make your way to the bar’s water cooler. It is recommended that you drink a cup of water (240 ml) for every alcoholic drink you consume. Follow up each drink you have with a cup of water before you move onto another one.[2]
    • Additionally, before you lay down to go to bed, drink another full glass of water. Because frequent trips to the bathroom can deplete your body’s salt content, try adding a pinch of salt to your glass of water.[3]
  3. 3
    Snack on peanuts and crackers. Many bars provide free snacks that are kept on the counter for customers. If you’re drinking somewhere where light snacks are available, take advantage of the opportunity to get some food into your stomach. If you consume light snacks while you are drinking, you won’t get as intoxicated as you would otherwise.
    • Stay away from big, heavy, greasy meals, as this may make you sick.
  4. 4
    Take a quick 30-minute nap. Because time is the only real cure for sobering up, rest is a great way to sober up quickly. Once you have food and water in your system, set your alarm for 30 minutes and take a nap.[4]
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Method Two of Three:
Avoiding Flawed Tactics for Sobering Up
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  1. 1
    Avoid cold showers. A cold shower will make you feel more alert, but it will not minimize the effects of alcohol. On the contrary, a cold shower may send your body into shock if you are severely intoxicated or have alcohol poisoning.[5]
  2. 2
    Limit your coffee intake. A cup of coffee may make you feel more awake and alert, so it may be beneficial to drink one cup. However, avoid having a lot of coffee, as this may dehydrate you. Contrary to popular belief, coffee does not sober you up or reduce the level of alcohol in your blood.[6]
  3. 3
    Refrain from forcing yourself to vomit. This tactic will not work very well unless you do it immediately after taking a shot. Once the alcohol is absorbed into your system, i.e., when you feel buzzed, it is too late. At this point you are only doing your body a disservice since vomiting depletes your body and adds to dehydration.[7]
    • If you really need to, don’t resist the urge to vomit. This is your body’s way of trying to get rid of the alcohol.
    • As a safety precaution, ask a friend to stay with you if you vomit so that they can make sure you don’t fall and hurt yourself as a result of dizziness.
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Method Three of Three:
Preparing for a Night of Drinking
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  1. 1
    Eat foods high in carbs. Before you begin drinking is when you should eat foods high in carbs. Once you start drinking, the carbs will help soak up excess alcohol. Dairy products and foods high in natural fats are also great because they coat the lining of your stomach. This helps slow the absorption of alcohol into your system.[8]
    • Examples of things to eat before you drink are pasta, falafel, a burger or sandwich, pizza, or avocados.[9]
  2. 2
    Limit your drinking. Try to limit yourself to a set number of drinks. This way you can avoid over drinking. One way to do this is to bring a set amount of cash with you to the bar. This way you can avoid buying too many drinks. You can also let the bartender know ahead of time that you don’t want to drink too much, or order a couple of non-alcoholic beverages throughout the night.[10]
    • You can also practice self-restraint and tell yourself that you will only have three or four drinks throughout the night. Do this by taking 30-minute water breaks in between drinks.
    • Keep track of how many drinks you’ve had by asking the server or bartender to not remove your empty glasses.
    • Before you start drinking, consider asking a friend if they can let you know once you’ve finished a certain number of drinks.
  3. 3
    Avoid mixing drinks. Try to avoid mixing beer with liquor, especially if you have already consumed beer first. Also try to avoid mixing different liquors together like vodka, rum and whiskey, for example. Instead, keep it consistent with clear or dark liquor, beer, or wine.[11]
    • Additionally, clear liquor, like vodka and gin, is much easier on your body than dark liquor like whiskey and bourbon.
  4. 4
    Drink only beer. It typically takes the longest amount of time to get drunk on beer. This is because it has a high fluid volume than other alcoholic beverages. If you’re trying to get less intoxicated, commit to only drinking beer for the evening.
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Community Q&A

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  • How can I stop becoming an alcoholic if I am only 16?
    Answered by wikiHow Contributor
    • Avoid alcohol completely. If you feel like you can't, or you need help, speak up to an adult you can trust about therapy and possibly rehab. Anyone can get help for alcoholism, including people who are underage.
    Thanks! 15 1
  • What if I'm a kid in need of help because my mother is an alcoholic that can not stop? How can I get help?
    Answered by wikiHow Contributor
    • Contact social services, talk to ChildLine, or find help through your school (talk to a guidance counselor or a trusted teacher). Help is out there, you just have to reach out. The same thing happened to me and I'm living with another relative now.
    Thanks! 40 11
  • Should I force myself to throw up to sober up?
    Answered by wikiHow Contributor
    • Throwing up will make you feel less nauseous. The alcohol left in your stomach will be removed from your system and therefore stop you from becoming more drunk as it is absorbed. Personally, it stops the spinny head I get and allows me to sleep, but it is not a regular remedy for a drunk adult. A "tactical spew" should be used as a last resort.
    Thanks! 101 35
  • My friend feels very sick after consuming a high amount of alcohol. How can I help him get back to normal?
    Answered by wikiHow Contributor
    • Having him brush his teeth with mint toothpaste or chew mint gum may help. Mint is known to help with nausea. Additionally, have him drink as much water as he comfortably can. Alcohol based nausea is often caused by dehydration, and getting some water into his system should help. Finally, if all else fails, he may need to throw up. Emptying his stomach should help him to feel a little better.
    Thanks! 105 38
  • How do I stop someone from drinking beer every day?
    Answered by wikiHow Contributor
    • You can't really stop anyone else from drinking. You can encourage them to stop, seek treatment for alcohol abuse, etc. but they have to want to stop themselves or it will never work.
    Thanks! 56 21
  • Does hot sauce help sober up?
    Answered by wikiHow Contributor
    • It can increase the rate at which you sweat, purging the alcohol from your system. However, the results will be minor. Lots of water and sleep are the best remedies.
    Thanks! 33 11
  • Why am I still drunk after employing these methods?
    Answered by wikiHow Contributor
    • The only thing that reduces the level of alcohol in your blood is time. None of these tips reduce the actual level of alcohol in your blood, they accelerate the recovery process, deal with adverse after-effects, and help make you more alert.
    Thanks! 66 27
  • If someone is drunk and sleeping, but they have been vomiting clear liquids, and have not eaten for 5 hours nor drank any water, should I wake them for a drink of water?
    Answered by wikiHow Contributor
    • Yes, giving them water will help them recover hours later. But, if waking them up causes them stress, they could vomit, which could lead them to choking. Be sure to roll them on to their side so there is no risk of choking and If they continue to vomit, you might consider seeking medical attention for them.
    Thanks! 130 65
  • If I tried all the steps and I'm still drunk, what should I do?
    Answered by wikiHow Contributor
    • Try fatty foods and drinks high in sugar, such as cola or lemonade.
    Thanks! 46 21
  • What steps should I take if I drank so much that I cannot sleep and my head is spinning?
    Answered by wikiHow Contributor
    • Lie in your bed, and put one leg on the floor, as this can ease the spinning. Apart from that, try some sparkling lemonade or similar plain-ish soda. Have a shower, as this can sometimes help. And take an over-the-counter headache pill.
    Thanks! 100 57
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WarningsEdit

  • When you’re out drinking, always make sure you have a safe way to get home. To prevent drunk driving car accidents, pick a designated driver and let the bartender know who it is.
    3 Helpful?  0
  • Stop drinking if you feel nauseous and/or disconnected from your environment.
    1 Helpful?  1
  • Take alcohol poisoning seriously, as it’s very dangerous and harmful to your body. If you think that you or someone you’re with is experiencing alcohol poisoning, go to the emergency room immediately.
    1 Helpful?  0
  • Intoxication can be made worse by feeling sick before you start drinking alcohol, taking antibiotics, taking antihistamines, or drinking in hot climates while not drinking water. Don’t consume alcohol in any of these circumstances.
    1 Helpful?  1
  • Drinking too much alcohol followed by drinking water can lead to urinary retention because the bladder is too full. Make sure you use the restroom throughout the time you’re drinking so that this doesn’t happen.
    2 Helpful?  1

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Expert Review By:

JD
Registered Nurse

This version of How to Sober Up Fast was reviewed by Jurdy Dugdale, R.N. on November 10, 2017.

37 votes - 78%
Co-authors: 23
Updated:
Views: 2,510,009

Reader Success Stories

  • NA

    Nelo Angelo

    Jul 30, 2017

    "I am still drunk, but water helped a lot. I am gonna try to eat something now, but I have bad hiccups, it is a big problem."..." more
    Rated this article:
  • AB

    Abbey Beck

    Aug 3, 2016

    "Loved it!! It truly helped me when I most needed it. The preventative measures are also good for future purpose."
  • RE

    Roxana Emami

    Aug 5, 2017

    "I was messing up, and this helped me get more alert."
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