Does Showering Help You Get Sober Quicker?
A cold shower boosts alertness, while warm showers help you to relax. Taking a shower after a particularly challenging day can help you de-stress and relieve tension. However, showering won’t help you sober up.
Getting sober is a natural process that can take hours or weeks, depending on the amount of alcohol you’ve consumed. The only way to get sober is to stop drinking alcohol until your body processes it.
If you feel that you cannot stop drinking or smoking, despite the unwanted side effects of intoxication, Zinnia Health can help. Our experts help thousands achieve sobriety through evidence-based programs and peer support. Call us at (855) 430-9439 to learn more.
Can Showering Help Me Sober Up?
A nice warm shower may help you relax, but unfortunately, it will not stop you from getting drunk or from feeling the effects of consuming alcohol.
Your liver can only convert a small amount of alcohol (one ounce) at a time. On average, a glass of wine is processed in an hour, although this time can vary if you have a health condition that impairs the liver or digestion.
When you have your last drink, it is absorbed into the intestine to be metabolized by the liver. The liver then converts the alcohol into acetaldehyde before it is pushed through the urinary and digestive tracts.
According to MedlinePlus, alcohol affects the Central Nervous System, interfering with life-sustaining processes. It also prompts the reward center in your brain to trigger a flood of dopamine to make you feel euphoric.
No matter how long you shower or what temperature the water is, it will not reverse these processes or speed them up.
Showering and Sobriety: Facts vs. Fiction
To rid nausea, dizziness, and other uncomfortable symptoms of intoxication, you may turn to Google for advice. However, some of this advice can be misleading or even dangerous. For example, you might have heard that showering can help you sober up fast. However, no credible studies highlight a link between taking a shower and getting sober.
While showering cannot rid your body of alcohol, it is beneficial in other ways.
Here are some of the facts (and fiction) about showering and alcohol use.
Fact: Warm Showers Reduce Blood Pressure
According to Harvard Health Publishing, a warm shower can lower your blood pressure, calming the body. A study published by the National Library of Medicine found that blood pressure decreases within six hours of drinking. However, 12 hours later, it begins to increase and continues to rise for 24 hours.
Fact: Warm Showers Have a Relaxing Effect
Some people smoke cannabis while drinking alcohol. Drugs like cannabis trigger substance-induced anxiety. This uncomfortable condition causes an individual to panic shortly after ingesting weed or alcohol. Some people develop Substance-Induced Anxiety after discontinuing the use of drugs. The National Library of Medicine states that a hot bath relieves panic related to chronic cannabis use.
Showering can also provide relief if you feel anxious before drinking or using drugs. However, it is essential to address the causes of anxiety by seeking professional help, especially if it interferes with your daily life.
Fact: Showering Counteracts Some Symptoms of Dehydration
According to MedlinePlus, alcohol can dehydrate your skin. Taking a warm shower will rehydrate it and alleviate itchiness. In addition to dry skin, excessive drinking leads to alcohol poisoning triggering nausea and acid reflux, which leads to internal dehydration.
Fiction: Cold Showers Will Help You Sober Up
Warm showers may soothe you and bring about relaxation, but cold showers are often used as a quick perk. If you’re tired, sluggish, or distracted, a cold shower can help you focus and feel more alert.
According to Ohio State Health, a 10 to 20-minute immersion in cold water will help you lose weight and sleep better — but it will not speed up the body’s ability to metabolize alcohol.
Is There Something I Can Eat or Drink to Get Sober?
The University of Notre Dame, Division of Student Affairs states that snacking can slow the absorption of alcohol, which may delay the feeling of being drunk. However, if you have a high blood alcohol level this may not help.
Will Drinking Coffee Help Me Get Sober?
Some people drink strong coffee to counteract feelings of fatigue brought on by intoxication. This is due to the caffeine in coffee, which makes you feel more alert. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warn against mixing caffeine and alcohol.
Caffeine masks the depressive nature of alcohol, which can give you a false sense of sobriety. This causes a person to drink more than their body can process, leading to alcohol poisoning. It may also result in liver damage and an increased risk of self-harm.
Although caffeine cannot help, staying hydrated is essential in relieving nausea and an upset stomach. Taking sips of a sports drink replenishes electrolytes lost through excessive urination and vomiting. These effects of alcohol often accompany a hangover.
What Happens If I Don’t Get Sober?
Repeated alcohol consumption can increase your chance of developing Alcohol Use Disorder. Alcohol Use Disorder occurs when your body has an increased tolerance to and dependence on alcohol. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, excessive alcohol use impacts your physical and mental health and may also negatively impact your work and relationships.
Recognizing the signs and symptoms of Alcohol Use Disorder can save your life.
The symptoms of AUD are:
- Changes in physical appearance, such as sudden weight loss or gain
- Changes in appetite
- Inconsistent sleeping patterns
- Bloodshot eyes and dilated pupils
- Slurred speech and impaired coordination
- Alcohol cravings
How to Get Help With Alcohol Addiction
If you find the need to sober up multiple times a week, you might have an addiction. Addiction is a mental disease that requires professional care. It causes changes to the way you think and behave. Comprehensive care is the key to addressing the psychological and physical changes caused by drug addiction.
A comprehensive approach to addiction includes detox and support from others. Evidence-based treatment modalities such as cognitive behavioral therapy and SMART recovery are helpful in preventing relapse.
If you’re ready to embark on a life free from addiction, we’re here to help.
The addiction specialists at Zinnia Health are prepared to meet you along your journey to sobriety. Together we can facilitate a successful path toward recovery. Call us at (855) 430-9439 to learn about our comprehensive addiction approach.