Does drinking cream prevent alcohol absorption?

Someone I know recently insisted that you can give yourself a massive ‘alcohol rush’ by drinking a quart of cream prior to imbibing alcohol to create a ‘seal’ in your stomach.

He says to then consume all the alcohol you wish, as long as it isn’t carbonated. Then, to drink something carbonated to ‘break the seal’ and cause your body to start absorbing the alcohol all at once.

I call bullshit, but I can’t find any solid evidence to support that. Can someone shed some light on this? I want to tell him he’s full of it, but I’d like some proof.

There may be a small part of truth to what your friend says. The reason why we can even get drunk quickly is because alcohol, unlike most substances, is absorbed directly through the stomache lining. If one were somehow able to ‘seal’ the stomache lining then you wouldn’t get drunk until the the alcohol hit your intestines.

Another way to inhibit alcohol absorbtion is to eat something greasy, or absorbtive. grease should tie up the alcohol in little fat bubbles and somehting absorbtive like bread should absorb the alcohol. The less alcohol directly exposed to the lining of the stomache, the less gets absorbed.

Cream has alot of fat, so I bet it’ll inhibit absorbtion some. Theres no way it’d ‘seal’ your stomache though. Maybe if you drank pure liquid fat.

Milk and cream are really good at absorbing alcohol. When I want to keep pace with the youngsters I sneak a pint of 2% milk before going drinking and it does really seem to slow down the absorption. I don’t know how it works but I’ve heard it “coats” the stomach.

As far as suddenly drinking something to cancel the absorption effect, I’ve never heard of that and I don’t know how it would work.

Well, I’ve gotten drunk as anything on White Russians, so wouldn’t that sort of disprove?

Years ago I was at a party where a drinking contest was going on. The goal was to drink one shot glass of beer every minute for one hour. Something about the spacing/pace would lead to you getting more drunk on 60 shots of beer compared to drinking the same volume at your own pace.

One contestant claimed that bread would allow him to win. He ate some massive amount of bread, saying it would slow alcohol absorption. He seemed to be right, as he was one of the 3 (out of 12) people to finish. However all the beer and bread came right back up. Quickly. :frowning:

I say challenge your friend to drink a quart of cream. REAL cream, not milk, not half-n-half. Thirty two ounces. If he wants alcohol after that, buy him a bottle of Johnny Walker Blue Label.

FTR, google tells me that heavy cream is 30-40% fat. Light/coffee cream is 18-30% fat.

Yeah, that’s exactly what I thought. Slowing the absorption… I can see. But stopping it altogether as he described just seemed awfully farfetched. I can’t see it creating some alcohol-proof seal that would break when you drank a carbonated drink.

My state has a manditory training program for alchohol servers. One of the recommended techniques to keep customers from becoming overly intoxicated is to push high fat content appetizers, and not serve the first drink untill the buffalo wings, or whatever, are up.

This is one reason why most of the choices in the appetizer section of the menu are not diet friendly (also because fat is yummy!)

Since cream has fairly high fat content, it’s reasonable to think it will interfere with alcohol absorbtion. Carbonation does speed absorbtion, but I don’t know if it negates the effect of fat. The carbonation effect is why a boilermaker (beer and a shot) will tend to produce more intoxication than two of either.

Wild guess… it’s not farfetched to think that a non-fatty drink drink serves to wash out your stomach contents faster… Perhaps the carbonation is somehow a bit more effective in this process? I could see how carbonation would increase your gastric pressure and force the contents into the intestines faster, where it would get absorbed faster. Plus the gas in the stomach gets burped out, and presto, your previous drink is now processing at max speed, and now you’ve got room for more.

Hey everyone, please remember to tip your bartenders!!!

Folks, just be aware:

None of these strategies will reduce the amount of alcohol that gets into the body (other than vomiting quickly after consuming a drink). They only delay absorption (at best!) and whether they truly work or not is open to question. Lots of theories abound as to why such practices should delay absorption, but there’s not a lot of clinical data as to whether they really do so or not.

5 beers in an hour at ANY pace would make me vomit.

my humble scratchings of knowledge interspersed with some random views

Whilst alcohol can be absorbed through the stomach wall - most is absorbed through the small intestine. Holding the alcohol in the stomach for longer will actualy decrease the amount of alcohol available to get to your blood stream as the ADH in teh stomach will break down the alcohol before absorbtion.

Can’t see the fat forming a barrier around the stomach, why would it unless it came out of emulsion and would it stick to the mucus lining? doubt it. And if it did come out of emulsion it would sink or float to top of stomach hence you would have to roll your self slowly around to get a nice coating all around the stomach.
Id say the fat stays in a nicly distributed emulsion in the stomach.

Alcohol binding to fat to prevent absorbing through stomach wall - I could buy this - any chemist out there who knows about alcohol and fat sticking togeather?

For experiments these guys did some fun looking ones, and basically came to teh conclusion (through controlled drinking andf measuring Breath alcohol levels against time after drinking on full and empty stomachs) that full or empty stomach you get to max breath alchohol content at the same time, so I take that to mean - feeling just as inebrieated just as fast

Now on the carbonated drink business getting things going - I can sort of buy this. Several things can casue the stomach to empty and dump fluids into the small intestine - having a shot of strong booze, artificial sweteners, and I would geuss necking a pint of fizzy stuff may force stomach to plonk a load out into the small intestine. Once the small intestine gets hit with the booze infused soup it will absorb the alchohol rapidly and so get you trashed.


Well, that’s assuming that 1 oz. shots are used…I’ve heard of “Power Hour” being played with 1 1/2 oz. shot glasses too, so that’s 8 1/2 beers in an hour :smiley: (it’s even more “interesting” when you think of those in terms of pitchers/growlers!)

Not even to mention Century Club, maintaining the same pace for another 40 minutes (“Power Hour…you’re 60% of the way there!”) :smiley:

However a shot of beer a minute for an hour does not sound like much.

Is there anything you can eat or drink that will beneficially react with alcohol in the stomach so the alcohol doesn’t get absorbed by the body?

Okay, let’s take the “cream seal” nonsense out of it.

Fact: Fat in the stomach slows absorption of alcohol.

Fact: It does NOT do this by creating a cream seal. So bullshit.

Okay. A reasonable rough guide I use in forensics is: for every standard drink, your blood level goes up by about 0.2 mg%; every hour, you metabolize about 0.2 mg%. So if you had a beer in your hand, and you nursed it to make it last most of an hour, you would never have a detectable blood level of alcohol.

(A standard drink is 12 ounces ordinary beer, 4 ounces ordinary wine, 1 oz ordinary spirits. You can see this is a very rough guide since beer and spirits can vary a lot in alcohol content. And wine can be fortified.)

(Totally irrelevant note: I’m very fond of Belgian beer myself, but I know well that two doses of twelve ounces each can knock you on your ass. Because it’s way higher in alcohol!!!)

Now. You go up by .02 for every drink and you metabolize .02 every hour. But you don’t absorb that drink in an instant. No sirree. You take about 15 minutes to absorb it on an empty stomach. About 30 minutes on a full stomach. About 45 minutes on a stomach full of fat.

Let us assume you cannot drive legally in your state at .08, and of course you would never do anything illegal. You’re at a restaurant with your friends drinking but not eating, just having fun, and you consume x beers in an hour. What value does x have if you are going to be legal when you leave?

If you have five beers, and you absorb them all before you leave, they will take you up to 0.10 in an hour. But in the same hour you will be metabolizing 0.02, so you will be at 0.08. Uh oh, illegal. Stay another half hour drinking water or soda to drop to 0.07, then you’re legal. Or drink four over the hour, .08, metabolize one, 0.02, down to 0.06, you’re legal.

Most of our DUI fatalities come in at the .16-.17-.18 range. At that level you have no judgement left, you feel like Superman and you are confident you can not only drive but drive better than you could before you were drunk, but you still have enough fine motor control to get that key into the ignition and turn it and turn the steering wheel. At .20-.22-.24, you might be too drunk to master the motions. I say “might” because a lot depends on whether you are a habitual drinker.

If you have five beers in an hour and you have a stomach (and proximal small intestine - the stuff moves on down) full of fat, you will still be absorbing the booze. You will just have an hour and a half to absorb the full .10. So you will metabolize .03. So you will top out at 0.07. You will not get drunker and you will not get a sudden wonderful alcohol high.

It is, however, true that bubbles with alcohol in them carry the alcohol more efficiently into your bloodstream. This is why champagne gets people giddy so fast. And why it has the joyous but faintly dangerous reputation it does.

If I dig into my books I can provide ponderous cites for all the above, but I’m drunk and at home and please don’t make me. Spitz and Fisher for everyone.

After digging around a bit lots of places state “fat slows down alchol absorbtion” and carbonated drinks speed up absorbtion (or is it absorption?) but I cannot find anywhere the mechanism by which this would actually happen. Is it fat binding to the alchol molecules, fat speeding up action of ADH, fat occupying the villi in the smal intestine and thus slowing down the proces. Anyone a suggested mechanism ?

Gabriella - your forensic buddies at
stated empty or full stomach doesn’t make a difference - could be a bad experimental process but couldnt see any glaring flaws myself.

cheers all

Full should make a difference compared to empty.

Think about it, you eat a big meal before drinking, the blood in your system is working to digest and metabolize the food, therefore there’s less available to work on the alcohol.

It should take longer to hit your system on a full stomach, but probably no more than 20% longer.