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Can You Lower Your Alcohol Tolerance?

A man holds a pint of beer at a bar.

Among friends, there’s usually a joke about how can and can’t “hold their liquor.” For those who can handle their booze, alcohol tolerance is likely why. But if you’re looking to cut back on your drinking, can you lower your alcohol tolerance?

As it turns out, after cutting back significantly or stopping drinking altogether, it is possible to lower your alcohol tolerance.

Alcohol tolerance develops the more you indulge in drinking. In the same way, you can lose some amount of alcohol tolerance the less you indulge in alcoholic beverages. But the amount and speed this process happens depends on a few factors.

Alcohol tolerance primarily develops as a result of repeated exposure and the body’s natural adaptation to the effects of alcohol. Over time, the body becomes more efficient at metabolizing alcohol, leading to a higher tolerance.

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Non-alcoholic spirits can be a great way to help you cut back.

However, there are scenarios where a decrease in alcohol tolerance may occur. Extended periods of abstinence, such as taking a break from alcohol consumption, result in a reduction in tolerance…as long as that abstinence is maintained. If you increase your drinking, your tolerance is likely to go back up.

Why lower your tolerance, though? If you’re someone who loves a good drink in the evenings to relax, the higher your tolerance, the more alcohol you’ll need to feel its effects. Over time, this could lead to overconsumption and potential health issues. Resetting your tolerance is a good way to ensure you’re moderating your drinking.

So, ultimately, you can lower your alcohol tolerance, and it’s not just so you can save money at the bar. Keeping your alcohol tolerance at a moderate amount of drinking can help prevent potential binging and mitigate the health risks it poses. But yes, it also means you won’t need to be four beers and can stick to two which your wallet will thank you for as well.

Abbey Ryan Abbey Ryan
Abbey Ryan is a storyteller, preferably of stories in written form. Across the 5 years of her professional writing career, her work has been featured in The Chicago Tribune, Amazon, The Medical News Today, and more. When she's not writing (which is rare), she's likely traveling, painting, or on the hunt for a good snack. Read Full Bio »
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