Substance Use

Does Bread Help You Sober Up?

mug of beer with soft pretzels

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Can Bread Help You Get Sober Quicker?

Buttered toast may taste good, but it won’t interfere with alcohol metabolism. No matter how many slices of bread you consume, the time the process takes will not decrease. However, there are benefits to not drinking on an empty stomach. Eating bread before and after you drink can relieve nausea and help you relax. However, eating bread that contains marijuana can do more harm than good.

Bread might not help you get sober, but Zinnia Health can. Our experts can help you find realistic ways to reach sobriety and quit drinking for good. Call us at (855) 430-9439 to find out about our evidence-based and 12-step approaches to sobriety. 

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Mixing Bread with Alcohol Won’t Get You Sober

Despite the popular belief that bread soaks up any amount of alcohol, it isn’t true. Bread will not help you get sober. However, the carbs that bread contains are helpful in other ways. If you feel dizzy or lightheaded after drinking, this could be due to changes in your blood sugar caused by alcohol.

The carbohydrates in whole grain bread may help support healthy blood sugar levels and negate this side effect. However, no study supports this as a viable treatment option. Your body needs time to process alcohol on its own for you to fully sober up.

When you consume alcohol, it enters your stomach and small intestine, where it’s absorbed into the bloodstream. Your liver removes alcohol and converts it to a chemical called acetaldehyde. This toxic chemical is further processed by enzymes in your liver to a safer chemical called acetate. Acetate leaves your body through urination and breathing.

Before being converted, certain toxins make their way to your central nervous system (CNS). Your central nervous system controls your breathing, heart rate, and other bodily processes. As a central nervous system depressant, alcohol slows these functions. This is why you may feel more relaxed after a drink.

Although a number isn’t set in stone, your liver can process approximately one standard drink in an hour. However, byproducts from alcohol, such as acetate, may remain in the bloodstream for up to 72 hours.

Food and drugs are metabolized differently, so eating bread cannot speed up your body’s detoxification process.

Bread’s Role in Alcohol Absorption and Detox

Bread contains many nutrients, including protein, B vitamins, calcium, and fats. According to the National Library of Medicine, bread provides 80% of your daily iron needs. In addition, the fiber in bread helps digestion. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that fiber — an essential carbohydrate — adds bulk to your digestive system, which helps keep you regular.  

Bread Slows the Absorption of Alcohol

Research published by Bowling Green State University found that food helps soak up alcohol in the stomach. This delays the increase in blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels. However, it cannot stop alcohol from reaching your bloodstream or central nervous system and doesn’t affect your blood’s alcohol content.

Bread Replenishes Macronutrients

UC San Diego found that alcohol interferes with nutrient absorption and food metabolism. Alcohol can delay absorption and even destroy nutrients in your bloodstream. However, after having a drink, nutrient-rich bread can help replenish these lost macronutrients.

There is no guideline on how much you should eat, but the USDA recommends consuming 28 grams of fiber daily. Whole grains can provide much of that. 

The Fiber in Bread Can Stabilize Blood Sugar

Alcohol is a nervous system depressant that can leave you feeling wiped out. Alcohol can also cause fluctuations in your blood sugar levels. According to the CDC, the fiber in bread helps improve and stabilize your blood sugar.

This minimizes intoxication symptoms like lightheadedness and dizziness. Iron-rich bread may help you feel more energetic, especially if you are iron deficient.

Are you looking for a way to stop drinking for good? If you’re struggling to stop on your own, Zinnia Health can help. Call us at (855) 430-9439 to find out how. 

Cannabis Bread and Alcohol

There is nothing wrong with eating bread before or after drinking alcohol. However, if this bread contains marijuana, the mix could be dangerous.

Marijuana, also known as cannabis, contains a compound called THC. When ingested, THC triggers psychoactive properties that affect the way a person feels and behaves.

THC binds to cannabinoid receptors in the brain. Like alcohol, this causes changes in the way you think and behave. The National Institute on Drug Abuse states that mixing weed into food slows absorption, which can delay your high for up to an hour. This means that as soon as one alcoholic drink is metabolized, the high from weed begins.

This might also prompt you to eat more cannabis bread than recommended since the high is so delayed. Once a cannabis high begins, it lasts up to three hours.

Drinking alcohol while ingesting cannabis (polysubstance use) can increase your risk of alcohol intoxication or injury. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state that by mixing weed and alcohol, the effects of alcohol and weed are more potent and unpredictable. 

What Happens When Bread Doesn’t Sober You Up?

Simply wait it out. Staying at home and relaxing allows your body to process alcohol easier. Drinking water and resting are recommended to aid digestion and minimize your risk of getting hurt. If you’ve been binge drinking, it will take your body longer to process the alcohol. Unfortunately, there isn’t a way around this.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) state that binge drinking puts you at risk for:

  • motor vehicle crashes
  • accidents involving falling, drowning, or getting burned
  • violence, including homicide, sexual assault, and suicide
  • risky sexual behavior
  • alcohol poisoning
  • pregnancy complications

In addition to the short-term risks, the CDC warns that drinking too much creates long-term risks. These include cancer, liver failure, high blood pressure, and mental health problems.

When Is It Time to Seek Outside Assistance?

If you drink excessively, you may need help quitting.

Binge drinking contributes to more than 140,000 deaths annually in the United States. Despite this statistic, one in six adults binge drink.

Excessive alcohol consumption increases the risk of developing alcohol addiction, also called alcohol use disorder (AUD). AUD causes changes in your brain that make it harder to stop drinking. This serious condition affects more than 28.6 million people.

To assess your risk for alcohol use disorder, ask yourself the following questions.

In the last year, did you:

  • Continue to drink despite your family or friends telling you it’s a problem?
  • Have a difficult time thinking about anything other than drinking?
  • Consistently feel sick or hungover from drinking?
  • Want to cut back or stop drinking altogether but couldn’t?
  • Drink more than you intended over a longer period of time?
  • Continue to drink despite health warnings from your doctor?
  • Feel a need to consume more alcohol to feel drunk?

If you answered yes to several of these concerns, ask your healthcare provider about treatments to help you get sober.

Luckily there are multiple science-based treatments for alcohol use disorder. Treatment depends on your specific needs. Treatment options include medications like naltrexone, acamprosate, and disulfiram to help cut the cravings for alcohol, along with treatments that tackle behavioral changes like cognitive behavioral therapy and peer support.

If you or someone you know is concerned about AUD, contact the experts at Zinnia Health. Our operators can help you find a suitable treatment facility and the right programs to meet your goals. Our helpline at (855) 430-9439 is available 24/7, so don’t hesitate to call. We’re here to help you get sober and stay sober for good.  

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(855) 430-9439
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