Alcohol & Women

It is not being sexist to tell you that the simple fact is that alcohol affects women differently than men. Women can expect substantially more alcohol-caused impairment than men at equivalent levels of consumption.

Women are more sensitive to alcohol:

  • Since, on the average, women are smaller than men, equivalent doses of alcohol produce higher levels of concentration in women's bodies.

  • The average female carries more body fat than the average male, and body fat contains little water. Consequently, most women have less body water to dilute the alcohol, leaving a higher concentration of alcohol in women's bodies.

  • Alcohol dehydrogenase is a metabolizing enzyme that helps the body get alcohol out of its system. Women have less of this enzyme than men, so more of what women drink enters the bloodstream as pure alcohol.

  • Fluctuating hormone levels in women means that the intoxicating effects of alcohol will set in faster when their estrogen levels are higher, premenstrually. Also, alcohol increases the estrogen levels- birth control pills or other medications with estrogen will cause the intoxicating effects to set in at lower levels of BAC.