Ladies, have you ever gone out with a group of guy friends and despite drinking the same amount found yourself more intoxicated than your counterparts? You may chalk it up to tolerance or weight differences, but the fact is that women are biologically inclined to feel the effects of alcohol faster than men. Even if all factors were equal between a man and woman (weight, drinks, amount of time), the woman will most likely have a higher blood alcohol concentration (BAC). This is due to differences in body composition. Women generally have a higher ratio of fat to water in their bodies. Alcohol is water soluble and absorbed less easily in fat tissue so a person with a higher body fat percentage will feel the effects of alcohol more easily. But even women with very low body fat are still vulnerable thanks to the lack of a stomach enzyme, gastric alcohol dehydrogenase. This enzyme breaks down alcohol, lowering the amount that enters the blood stream directly. Because women have nearly half as much of this enzyme as men, one drink may actually have the effects of two! So ladies, if you choose to drink with the boys, do so at your own pace. Don't succumb to the pressure, just blame it on biology and Stop@Buzzed!
For more information on women and alcohol, check out Women under the Influence from The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University.