Girls and Drinking
As much as we’d like it if everything were equal between girls and boys, some things just aren’t. For instance, girls’ bodies process alcohol differently than guys’ do. Because of this, girls who drink the same amount as guys usually do more damage to themselves.
• You’ve probably heard that most of the human body is made up of water. But girls actually have less water in their bodies than boys do. This is perfectly normal—in fact, most of the time it makes no difference at all. But because water helps to dilute alcohol, if a girl and a guy drink the same amount of alcohol, the girl will have a higher concentration of alcohol in her blood. So, girls get drunk faster—but many don’t realize it. And that’s a danger.
• Ready to get technical? Alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) is an enzyme that breaks down alcohol in your stomach so that less of it enters your circulatory system. In girls this enzyme is less active, meaning that when girls drink the same amount as guys, more alcohol enters girls’ blood stream.
• You probably already know that your period makes your hormones go crazy, but there’s another side to this story. These monthly hormone changes can also affect the way your body processes alcohol. To make a long story short: Girls get drunk faster and stay drunk longer than boys. That means it will take less alcohol to make you do something you’ll regret, and you’ll have less time to avoid alcohol poisoning!
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