How Many Tequila Shots Do You Need To Get Drunk?
Tequila is one of the most famous spirits in the bar. As much as tequila shots amp up people, taking too many is dangerous. You’re bound to be intoxicated and may suffer worse conditions. So, how many shots can you have before you get drunk?
On average, a person can get drunk after two or three tequila shots. Anything beyond this number can be fatal to the drinker. However, other factors can contribute to how quickly a person gets drunk, such as age, sex, and weight.
If you want to maintain a balanced relationship between your health and your love for tequila, this post is for you.
A shot glass measures differently depending on the country. In the United States, shot glasses are available in one to two ounces, but the most common measurement and is treated as the standard is 1.5 fluid ounces.
Similarly, tequila's alcohol by volume (ABV) also varies from country to country. Generally, it ranges from 35%-55% ABV, but in the US, the minimum, often the most common, is 40% or 80 proof.
Furthermore, the National Institutes of Health defines a standard drink to have 14 grams or 0.6 fl. oz. of pure alcohol. This amount is present in a 1.5-oz. serving of any hard spirit with 40% ABV. It is equivalent to a can (12 oz.) of a 5% ABV beer and one glass (5 oz.) of a 12% ABV wine.
The National Institutes of Health reminds us that the standard drink doesn’t necessarily reflect a person’s customary serving size. People may have more than one shot of liquor, which increases the amount of alcohol consumed.
There are two ways to learn how much alcohol is in a shot: by ounce, relative to the total volume, and by density in grams. Let us see how a standard drink has 14 grams or 0.6 oz. of alcohol using the formulas:
The volume mass density of ethanol is 0.78945 g/ml, which is a constant number in the equation. For the first formula, we need to convert the volume of the alcohol from oz. to ml first. So, 1.5 oz is equivalent to 44.3603 ml.
For the second formula, we don’t need to convert the volume into ml.
Now we’ve put things into perspective, we can compute using a different ABV. We’ll retain the same serving size for a better comparison. So, if you have a shot (1.5 oz.) of a 35% ABV tequila, here is the amount of alcohol you’ve consumed:
Alternatively, if the tequila is 55% ABV and you’ve taken one shot (1.5 oz.), the amount of alcohol is:
With these computations, it can be said that the more you drink and the higher the tequila’s ABV, the more alcohol you consume, and the faster you’ll become drunk.
If you have taken more than one shot, just multiply the resulting amounts by the number of shots you’ve taken to get the total alcohol you’ve consumed.
When you’re in a bar or a party, you’ll probably see a tray of tequila shots accompanied by salt and lime or lemon wedges.
It is a popular drink of choice because it involves a routine and a crowd of people cheering on the people taking the shot. It is even considered a rite of passage for new 21-year-olds and novice drinkers. If you are either of these people, here’s how to take a tequila shot:
If it’s your first time taking shots, you’ll most likely feel overwhelmed and scrunch your face. But once you get acclimated, you’ll learn to appreciate the taste more and enjoy the party.
Some people say that higher quality tequilas are best sipped, and inexpensive tequilas are reserved for shots. That’s why they’re taken with salt and lime to improve the flavor.
But, one may still opt to shoot a 100% agave tequila with the salt and lime if they don’t want to feel the full force of the alcohol burn.
Aside from the alcohol’s ABV and serving size, people can get drunk depending on the following factors:
Alcohol travels throughout the body via the water in the bloodstream. If a small and a big person consumed the same amount of alcohol, the former would have the alcohol less diluted than the latter since he/she has less water and blood in the body.
In general, an older person may have a higher concentration of alcohol than a younger person, even if they consumed the same amount of alcohol.
Second, females have fewer enzymes that break down alcohol called alcohol dehydrogenase than men, causing the alcohol to remain in their bloodstream longer and affect their organs.
This situation is common in East Asians and some Native Americans, wherein their cheeks turn red, and they become nauseated and have a fast heartbeat after drinking.
These consequences can be unpleasant to the drinker. But it can lead them to stop taking any more drinks, and in turn, have lower risks of alcohol-related health problems.
Should you choose to drink two or three shots consecutively within an hour, your Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) will increase, causing you to get drunk faster.
Consequently, it slows down the alcohol absorption rate into the blood. That’s why some people prefer to eat a heavy meal before drinking, so they will less likely feel the effects of impairment quickly.
This can happen even though the BAC level is low. One standard drink can enhance a person’s exhaustion, making them less active.
Medicines like painkillers, antianxiety, antidepressants, and antihistamines may hasten the effects of intoxication or increase your BAC.
In the United States, a person is “legally drunk” if their BAC is 0.08% or higher. This percentage indicates how much alcohol there is per 100 ml of blood. So 0.08% means 80 mg of alcohol in 100 ml of blood.
Some people will start to feel the effects of the alcohol at 0.05%. If they reach 0.08%, they will start to be impaired in speech, balance, vision, hearing, judgment, and self-control.
Since we’ve already established the factors that affect how fast a person gets drunk, we can only estimate how many shots it will take them to the 0.08% BAC level.
Generally, it takes two to three standard shots of tequila, consumed within an hour, for an average person to be drunk. If they weigh 100-150 lbs, two to three shots may be enough to go beyond 0.08%.
Some people, especially those who weigh 160-200+ lbs, tend to have high alcohol tolerances and may only get drunk after four to seven shots taken in one hour.
Furthermore, your BAC will increase 90 seconds after taking the shot, and you will start to feel tipsy about 15-30 minutes after consuming the shot. So, if you drink more shots within 30 minutes, your body will feel the effects of alcohol quicker.
If you don’t want to feel drunk very quickly, we suggest pacing yourself when taking shots.
The liver is the principal organ that removes 90% of alcohol from a person’s body. The remaining alcohol is excreted in the urine, sweat, and breath; the last one is why breathalyzers detect alcohol.
The liver metabolizes alcohol at a constant rate of one standard drink per hour. The more and faster you drink, the more alcohol is accumulated in your blood and the longer the liver can entirely break down the alcohol.
In general, a person stays drunk for up to six hours. But alcohol can still be detected for a longer period, depending on the type of test. Alcohol is detectable in the blood for up to six hours, in the breath, saliva, and urine for 12-24 hours, and in the hair for up to 90 days.
Still, cases vary from person to person because of the factors discussed above.
Sometimes, a person gets carried away and may take too many shots of tequila. Being a depressant, alcohol impacts the brain and overall central nervous system, causing a change in a person’s thinking and motion. Here’s what would happen at different BAC levels:
In the United States, if people reach a 0.08% BAC (young people and drivers have a lower limit because of their age and line of work, respectively), they are prohibited from driving their vehicles because being impaired poses a danger to themselves and others.
They may also be penalized for drinking under the influence, which may vary depending on different state laws.
The least bad consequence of being drunk is a hangover. The worst thing is hurting other people or yourself, especially since intoxication can cause aggressive behavior in some people. That’s why it’s important always to drink responsibly.
After a night of taking tequila shots, chances are you’ll have a hangover in the morning, which can last for at most two days.
It is a common belief that sleeping and drinking water can make a person sober quickly, but this is not entirely true. This is because the metabolization of alcohol occurs at a constant rate, which causes the lowering of BAC levels at a constant rate, too.
Time is the only thing that gets rid of alcohol entirely from the system. But there are ways to make a person better during a hangover. Sleeping allows them to rest their minds and bodies and have a big chance of waking up feeling better.
Additionally, you can increase your alert levels by taking a cold shower, drinking coffee, and exercising. You can also indulge in hangover cure drinks or food, including fruits, vegetables, eggs, fish, soup, crackers, ginger, toast, and honey.
Blanco tequila is usually used for taking shots because it is less expensive than Reposado and Añejo. Some of the best Blanco tequila brands for shots are Patron Silver, Casamigos, Teremana, Olmeca Altos Plata, and Espolon.
Most non-alcohol spirits, including tequila, have less than 0.5% ABV per bottle. If you take two to seven shots of non-alcoholic tequila, your BAC won’t reach the legally drunk level.
It takes about 240-320 shots of NA tequila to have the same amount of alcohol as one standard drink of alcoholic tequila. With this, it’s safe to say that you won’t get drunk when drinking non-alcoholic tequila in one sitting.
The general range of shots that get people drunk is two to three. But, depending on how fast they drink and factors like weight, age, sex, and stomach content, people can be intoxicated with just one shot or more than three.
As fun as tequila shots are, it’s important to know your limits and pace yourself so you won’t suffer the effects as much.
What are your experiences when taking tequila shots? We’d love to hear your stories in the comments below.
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