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Absorption Rate

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Definition - What does Absorption Rate mean?

The absorption rate of alcohol is the rate the body absorbs alcohol into the blood, temporarily distributes it into the body tissues and ultimately eliminates it from the body. Initially after consumption a small percentage of alcohol (approximately 20%) is quickly absorbed into the bloodstream of the body. The remaining alcohol is absorbed as it moves through the gastrointestinal tract with most of the absorption occurring in the small intestines. The amount of alcohol which is not metabolized is excreted through the body's sweat, urine, breath and saliva.

The absorption rate of alcohol can be impacted by a variety of factors. Fat tissue absorbs alcohol more slowly than muscle. Therefore, individuals with more muscle will absorb alcohol faster, and there will be less alcohol circulating in the bloodstream. Due to the increase of fat tissue in women versus men, it is not uncommon for a woman to experience more significant effects from drinking alcohol.

Absorption rate may also be affected by a person's body size, the drinker's metabolic rate, medication, carbonation and mood. Older drinkers may be especially vulnerable to alcohol due to their loss of muscle tissue and slower metabolisms.

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