Does alcohol affect women differently?
Yes, alcohol affects women differently than men.
Women become more impaired than men do after drinking the same amount of alcohol, even when differences in body weight are taken into account. This is because women’s bodies have less water than men’s bodies. Because alcohol mixes with body water, a given amount of alcohol becomes more highly concentrated in a woman’s body than in a man’s. In other words, it would be like dropping the same amount of alcohol into a much smaller pail of water.
That is why the recommended drinking limit for women is lower than for men.
In addition, chronic alcohol abuse takes a heavier physical toll on women than on men. Alcohol dependence (alcoholism) and related medical problems, such as brain, heart, and liver damage, progress more rapidly in women than in men.
From NIAAA Alcohol Alert No. 62: Alcohol-An Important Women’s Health Issue.