How Much Whiskey to Get Drunk: Learn Here!

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Are you a whiskey lover afraid to drink more than 1-2 shots because you think you will get drunk? Don’t know how much whiskey will make you feel dizzy?

That is why I’m here to tell you what factors affect how much alcohol will get you drunk. I have seen too many drunk people where I work and have some experience on this topic. But first of all, let’s begin with the whiskey introduction.

Whiskey is a distilled alcoholic beverage made of grain mash. The grains used for various types of whiskey include barley, rye, corn, and wheat.

Whiskey is distilled from the fermented mash and aged in wooden barrels typically made of charred white oak. Usually, whiskey is bottled at 80 proof and contains 40% ABV, but there are also types of undiluted whiskey with 70% ABV.

The amount of whiskey that can make you drunk depends on your body weight, alcohol tolerance, and other key factors. All of them put together influence your alcohol tolerance.

This alcohol tolerance differs from person to person, so it’s important to know the key factors that affect how much whiskey you can drink to get drunk.

Let’s see the details below.


How Fast Does Whiskey Get You Drunk? It Depends on the Following 10 Factors

Many factors influence how fast whiskey will get you drunk because each human body reacts differently to alcohol.

The amount of whiskey you will drink is important, and one of the main factors on how fast you will get drunk, but the alcohol content of the whiskey, your body weight, health condition, and other factors are also important and can affect how fast you will get drunk.

If you drink whiskey or any other alcoholic drink on an empty stomach, you will get drunk faster than if you have already eaten.

Also, people with small bodies can get drunk faster than those with bigger bodies. On the other hand, if you drink enough water and have a good quality of 8 hours of sleep, you will get drunk harder than otherwise.

Let’s see all the factors that can affect how fast whiskey will get you drunk detailed.

Alcohol By Volume Levels

When drinking whiskey, it’s important to know which type and how much ABV it contains. For example, drinking whiskey containing 40% ABV, you will have to drink 120 -150 ml or 4-5 fl. oz to get drunk.

One shot glass of whiskey equals 1-1.25 fl. oz or 30-45 ml and is a recommended amount for one person daily. That means around four shots of whiskey are enough to make you drunk. There are also types of undiluted whiskey that have 75 ABV, and they will make you drunk faster with smaller amounts consumed.

How You Drink It

Another important factor affecting how fast whiskey will get you drunk is how you drink it because it’s not the same if you drink it in a bigger or smaller glass.

Bigger glass –higher amounts of whiskey that will make you drunk faster. Therefore, drinking whiskey in small glasses is better to control how much alcohol you have. 

Always drink on a full stomach, and take each shot in time intervals. You can also drink water or soda or eat some snacks between each shot to decrease the effect of the alcohol on your body. Going in the fresh air can also help with this issue.

More: How Many Tequila Shots Does it Take to Get Drunk?

Age & Sex

Older people have a lower alcohol tolerance than young people, which have a faster metabolism. Therefore, older people get drunk more quickly than young people.

As for gender, men are usually bigger than women and have a bigger blood volume, so if a man and woman drink the same amount of alcohol, the woman will get drunk faster because of the differences in hormones, metabolism, and body structure.

Women’s body has 52 % of water, less than men’s, which has 61 % of water. So a woman’s body can dilute less alcohol than a man’s.

Medication/Drugs Intake

We all know that medications, drugs, and alcohol are not a good combination, especially antidepressants and sleeping pills.

Taking these pills and drinking alcohol can affect your motor skills, coordination, and judgment. You can also feel sleepy and unable to drive; in the long term, this fatal combination can cause damage to your internal organs.

Taking painkillers and drinking alcohol can damage your liver, while an alcohol and aspirin combination can increase the risk of internal bleeding.

Therefore, if a person is taking any medication, it’s best to consult a doctor before using whiskey or any other type of alcohol.

Body Weight

Body weight is another factor affecting how fast whiskey will get you drunk.

People who weigh more have more water in their bodies and get drunk slower because the alcohol in their blood is diluted more than in people with lower body weight.

But if two people have the same body weight doesn’t mean they also have the same muscle mass and body fat percentage.

The one with less muscle mass will get drunk easier than the person with more muscle mass. At the same time, the people with a higher body fat percentage are less tolerant of alcohol and get drunk faster than the ones with a lower fat percentage. 

Sleep Regimen

Sleep regimen also affects how fast you will get drunk drinking whiskey. Some studies tried to reveal the link between sleep regimen and alcohol tolerance.

These studies conclude that if you have slept enough before consuming alcohol, you will be more tolerant of alcoholic drinks. While if you’re sleep-deprived for 1-2 or more days, you will get drunk faster.

Regular Drinker

Regular alcohol consumption can increase your tolerance to ethanol effects because your brain will memorize and learn how to respond to high amounts of alcohol in your blood.

People who consume alcohol daily and are heavy drinkers will not show significant signs of intoxication, like talking incomprehensibly and getting out of balance.

Their brains are used to high doses of alcohol; therefore, they will continue to drink, thinking they are not drunk. But that is not the case if you don’t drink alcohol often and are not used to it.


Posture is a factor that applies to all people who are consuming alcohol.

Whiskey and other distilled spirits should always be drunk while sitting down. It’s more comfortable to drink while sitting than standing, but your brain is also more engaged and can make you drunk faster when you’re standing than when you’re sitting.

Avoid standing up suddenly while drinking alcohol because your blood pressure will drop, and you will feel dizzy. At the same time, your brain will have to keep up the balance which is pretty hard when you’re drinking alcohol.

Water Intake

Water intake can also help you not get drunk after the first shot of whiskey because after water dilutes the whiskey, it will be absorbed in your bloodstream, and your liver will need more time to process it.

You can also drink water before and after drinking whiskey to help with dehydration and hangover.

Related: How Many Shots of Vodka To Get Drunk?

Health Condition

Whiskey and other alcoholic drinks are dangerous for people with some health conditions. Therefore, if you have any chronic disease, you’re sick, or you were ill and now recovering, you will get drunk faster because your body and immune system are weak.

Many people also have alcohol intolerance and can’t drink any alcoholic drinks.


Can Whiskey be Drunk Straight?

If you want to feel the real flavor of the whiskey, it’s best to drink it straight. Straight whiskey is consumed without ice at room temperature. You can also drink whiskey on rocks, with added just a splash of water or mixed in various cocktails. Drink it any way you want; drink responsibly.

More: 20 Best Whiskey To Drink Straight 

Is Two Shots of Whiskey a Lot?

Two shots of whiskey is a lot if you don’t consume it often and are not used to alcohol. One shot of whiskey is the recommended amount for one person daily.

In general, any amount of alcohol is harmful and bad for your body. High alcohol consumption can lead to heart disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and other health issues.

How Much Whiskey is Too Much?

The safe level of whiskey is different for men and women. If we know that one unit has 25 ml, the safe level that men can consume in a week is 21 units, while women can consume less or 14 units.

It’s safe for men to drink three units a day in one week, and women can drink two units a day in a week. It’s also recommended to have two consecutive days a week free of alcohol to let your liver and body recover from the alcohol.

Does Whiskey Get You Drunk Faster Than Vodka?

Whiskey and vodka have similar ABV. Whiskey has 40-70% ABV, while vodka is usually bottled with 40-50% ABV.

They are both distilled spirits and can easily make you drunk depending on the amount you will drink and their ABV content;

If you’re drinking cask-strength whiskey with 70% ABV, you will get drunk faster than you would if drinking 40% ABV vodka.

Moreover, if you drink the same amounts of vodka and whiskey, you will have better hangovers with vodka because it contains fewer congeners than whiskey.

How Many Shots of 40 Whiskey to Get Drunk?

How many shots each person should drink to get drunk differs from person to person and depends on other key factors.

But usually, four shots of whiskey with 40 % ABV can get you drunk. You will need fewer shots to get drunk if you drink a cask-strength whiskey with a higher ABV.

The effect of the whiskey is faster if you’re drinking on an empty stomach or sleep-deprived for 1-2 or more days; you will get drunk faster.

How Long Does it Take for Whiskey to Kick in?

Usually, it takes 30 -60 minutes for whiskey to kick in. But if you drink two or more drinks every half an hour, you’re drinking too quickly, and you will become drunk faster.

Therefore, if you want to find out how much time and shots you will need to get drunk, start to drink slowly, one shot in an hour.

It’s also important if you drink on an empty stomach or after a meal because if you’re hungry, you will get drunk faster than if you have eaten.

How Long Does it Take Before Whiskey Leaves Your System?

The time before whiskey leaves your system depends on the drink’s amount and strength. Whiskey is a strong spirit with 40 ABV, and it takes more time to go into your system than other drinks with lower ABV.

After the first drink, alcohol will need 60-90 minutes before your body starts to process it. But before whiskey leaves your system, it will need about 25 hours.

People do many things to speed up this process, like drinking water, walking, or cycling. But all that is in vain because it only helps them feel sober and doesn’t help the liver process the alcohol faster.

How to Prevent Over-Drinking?

You can prevent over-drinking if you start to take breaks after each drink and eat something before you begin to drink. You can also drink water to stay hydrated.

However, the most important thing to prevent overdrinking is to know which type of alcohol you’re drinking and how much ALB it contains.

Always make sure to measure the amounts of alcohol you’re consuming to prevent overdrinking.

Final Tips

Any alcohol can make you drunk, but how much and how fast depends on how much, how strong alcohol you will drink, and other factors mentioned in this article.

Therefore, it’s important to control your alcohol intake so you will not get drunk and feel bad afterward.

Four standard shots of whiskey with 40%ABV will make you drunk, but a stronger whiskey will make you feel dizzy after the second shot.

So, please drink responsibly and never drink and drive; it endangers your and other people’s lives.

Chad Smith

Meet Chad Smith, a seasoned bartender with a passion for mixology. He's the founder of Tin Roof Drink Community, a blog where he shares expert tips, creative recipes, and fosters a vibrant community of cocktail enthusiasts and aspiring bartenders. Join Chad as he takes you on a flavorful journey through the world of drinks. Cheers!

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