The Effects Drinking Alcohol On An Empty Stomach Have On Your Body

How bad is it, really, to drink on an empty stomach?

Total DUI, an organization that provides information to people recently arrested for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, put together this infographic to illustrate how alcohol travels through the body. With no food in the stomach, alcohol travels straight to the bloodstream. And as blood alcohol concentration rises, the loss of control increases.

Once alcohol is in the bloodstream,  it’s quickly distributed throughout the entire body, causing the blood vessels to widen and result in temporary feelings of warmth, temporary decrease in pulse rate, as well as blood pressure. It travels through the stomach, kidneys, lungs, liver, and the brain.

“Once the alcohol hits the brain, it immediately starts affecting the brain’s ability to control behavior and bodily functions,” Total DUI reported. It doesn’t always take long for this to happen either; about 20 percent of the alcohol a person drinks passes through the stomach and reaches the brain within a minute.