How Many Beers To Get Drunk? Understanding Your Body’s Limits

When you are out with your friends getting a drink, beer is a ubiquitous drink of choice. It’s considered light and not something you’d generally get “drunk” on. But is that even the case? Irrespective of what you are drinking, anything with an alcoholic content can add up and make you drunk. Hence, understanding your limits is vital.

Before we discuss how many beers will get you drunk, let us first break down the basics. What does being drunk even mean? If we had to explain it briefly, being drunk is a level of intoxication that hinders your physical and mental capabilities.

This article will explore how many beers can get you drunk and how you must understand your body’s limits.

Factors Affecting Alcohol Absorption And Intoxication

To understand how many beers you’d need to get drunk, you first need to understand the factors contributing to alcohol absorption and eventual intoxication in the body.

Although beer is indeed considered the “less toxic” type of alcohol, you can’t deny the fact that too much of anything has a consequence.

Some of the factors that you need to keep in mind are:

Alcohol Content – The alcohol content in beer varies. For example, there are some beers with only 2% alcohol and some with 12%. So, it’s safe to say that the latter will get you drunk and intoxicated quicker than the former.

Body Weight – Another crucial factor affecting alcohol consumption is the person’s body weight. This means that people who are overweight tend to have a higher threshold than those who are leaner and shorter.

Drinking Speed – Not many pay attention to this, but the speed at which you are chugging down the beer will affect your level of intoxication. If you are downing glass after glass of beer, it doesn’t give the body enough time to metabolize and recuperate. Hence, the intoxication is a lot quicker.

Food Intake – You must eat food while drinking your beer. Drinking beer (or any alcohol) on an empty stomach is a recipe for disaster. When you have an empty stomach, the beer you just drank gets absorbed into the bloodstream much quicker, leading to you getting drunk quicker. Hence, eating food before and during drinking beer is crucial to reduce the risk of getting too drunk.

Age – You might think that younger people have better tolerance for beer and alcohol. Well, surprisingly, it’s the other way around. So, if you are younger, chances are you’d get drunk a lot quicker than someone in their 30s or 40s.

These are just a few primary factors influencing how drunk and how quickly you will get drunk off Beer. So, understand these factors and drink responsibly.


Alcohol Content Of Beer

Most people have a lot of misconceptions surrounding beer, thinking that since the alcohol content is low, they don’t make people get drunk, which isn’t the case at all.

As we mentioned at the beginning of the article, different types of beer are available in the market. There are beers with a low alcohol content of 2%, and then you have beers with a high alcohol content of up to 12%.

Like most alcoholic drinks, beer’s alcohol content is measured as a percentage of alcohol by volume (ABV). Now, let us break down the types of beer and their alcohol percentage:

  • Non-alcoholic beers have an ABV of less than 0.5%.
  • Light beers have an ABV of 3-4%.
  • Standard or regular beers have an ABV of 4-6%.
  • Craft or specialty beers have the highest ABV of around 6-12%.

It’s important to note that the specific alcohol content can vary depending on the beer brand, style, and brewing process. Always check the label or product information for the precise ABV of a particular beer.

How Many Beers To Get Drunk?

Now, the question of the hour is, “How many beers are too many?”

No “standard” number for this is a subjective experience. For example, a large and tall individual might not get drunk until their fifth pint, while a short and lean individual might get drunk after the second pint.

Furthermore, the kind of beer and the ABV of the beer matters too. Even the biological gender of a person matters in this case.

On average, a woman can reach a BAC of 0.08 just after 2-3 pints of a specialty beer, while a man might need four pints to reach the same level of intoxication within 2-3 hours.

If you are drinking dark beers or IPAs, you must pay close attention to how many pints you are chugging down. So, if you want to keep the conversation flowing without getting too drunk after a few pints, we suggest sticking to light beers.

However, irrespective of the type of beer you are consuming, it is quintessential that you pay attention to your limit. Understand your body’s limits instead of overdoing anything, especially when it involves alcohol.

We’ll give you an example to better calculate how many pints of beer would intoxicate you. Let’s assume you are considering drinking a 16 oz pint of beer with an ABV of 5%. You weigh 150 pounds. In that case:

16 oz x 0.05 ABV = 0.80.8 / 150 lbs = 0.00533, meaning you’d need five and a half pints of beer to get intoxicated. Again, this excludes factors like food and the speed at which you are drinking.

Signs Of Intoxication

The next question is, “How do I know if I am intoxicated?”

Signs of intoxication can vary depending on the level of alcohol consumption and the individual’s tolerance. Following are a few signs you should prioritize:

Slurred Speech – If you are drunk, there’s a high probability that you will slur your speech and not be able to get a sentence.

Poor Coordination – Another potent sign that you are intoxicated is poor coordination. This affects motor skills and general coordination so that you might stumble, be unable to stand straight, etc. Fine motor skills are also influenced.

Flushed Face And Bloodshot Eyes – Alcohol is a vasodilator, which means it dilates the blood vessels, leading to a flushed appearance around the cheeks.

Impaired Judgment – Intoxication can impair decision-making and lead to poor judgment, risk-taking behavior, and lowered inhibitions.

Slow Reaction Time – Alcohol heavily impacts cognitive function, affecting one’s reaction and reflex time.

Mood Swings – Experiencing sudden changes in one’s mood is another sign of inebriation. Some might even exert unexpected and unpredictable behavior.

Nausea And Vomiting – Excess beer or alcohol consumption irritates the stomach lining, leading to nausea and vomiting.

Drowsiness – Some individuals who are drunk and highly intoxicated often complain of drowsiness and lethargy and might lose consciousness too.

Intoxication is dangerous and leads to loss of inhibitions, which can be toxic and harmful, irrespective of the situation or the company you are in. Hence, drinking responsibly isn’t just a fancy phrase but a necessity.

Risks Of Excessive Alcohol Consumption

The risks of excessive alcohol consumption can affect an individual in multiple ways – short-term, long-term, and addiction.

And surprisingly enough, it can happen even when you only drink beer. The following are a few factors worth considering:

Short-Term Impacts:

  • Slurred speech
  • Lack of coordination
  • Memory loss
  • Reduced inhibitions
  • Poor decision-making skills
  • Faster heart rate
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Poor gait

Long-Term Impacts:

  • Liver disease
  • Liver cirrhosis
  • Digestion-related complications
  • High blood pressure
  • Increased risks of heart disease
  • Brain damage
  • Increased risk of dementia
  • Depression
  • Anxiety

Alcohol Addiction

Having a habit of drinking regularly creates a dependency on alcohol, potentially the last thing you want to experience. Addiction is often worse than a chronic disease that eats away from within. So, if you feel like you are becoming dependent on alcohol, you must pay attention to the signs and either stop by yourself or get professional help.



Drinking a pint or two of beer with friends now and then is considered safe, but if you drink to the point that you lose your inhibition, things take a turn for the worse. Beer, albeit its lower alcohol content, can still get you drunk. So, understanding your body’s limits and ensuring that you drink while eating can help you hold your own.

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