What is the best way to sober up?

When someone consumes too much alcohol, they need time and rest to sober up. Even so, there are some ways to improve impairment, in the short term, at least.  At the same time, it is critical to recognize that even if a person can improve their alertness and awareness, they must still not drive or make important decisions until the alcohol is completely out of their system.

Depending on how much alcohol a person consumed, it can take several hours for alcohol to metabolize out of the body.

Appearing sober

There is nothing a person can do to bring down the blood alcohol concentration or BAC level in their body. However, there are some things they can do to feel more alert and appear soberer.

Cold shower

Cold showers do nothing to lower BAC levels. A cold shower may make a person alert for a short period, but they are still impaired. Cold showers are sometimes associated with shock and loss of unconsciousness for some intoxicated people. If someone is going to try this approach, it is wise to let another person know in case something goes wrong.


Sleep is the best way for a person to sober up. It allows the body to rest and recover. It also helps to restore the body’s ability to get alcohol out of someone’s system.

Even taking a quick nap can help. But the more sleep a person gets, the soberer they will feel, and that time gives the liver the chance to do its job and metabolize the alcohol.


Caffeine may help a person feel alert, but it does not break down alcohol in the body. And just because a person feels aware and alert does not mean they are not impaired and intoxicated by the alcohol in their system.


Exercise can help wake up the body and make a person more alert. It may also help metabolize alcohol more quickly, although the scientific evidence of this is inconclusive.

Nevertheless, after doing some exercise, a person might be aware, but they are still impaired.




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Alcohol is a main cause of motor vehicle accidents and poor decision-making. If a person chooses to consume alcohol, they should do so safely and take whatever steps are necessary to avoid putting themselves and others in harm’s way. The best way to sober up from excess alcohol drinking is to allow plenty of time, rest, and sleep.


The methods suggested above might help a person feel and appear more alert, but they will not decrease blood alcohol levels in their body. That means if someone gets behind the wheel of a vehicle, there could be serious consequences.

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