Does altitude affect how you react to alcohol? © iStock

Does altitude affect how you react to alcohol?

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It's often believed that you get drunk faster when drinking at higher altitudes, but is there any truth to this alcohol-altitude interaction?

Asked by: Marie Spicer, Bristol

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This is a very widely held urban myth. Residents of Denver, Colorado (1600m), will tell you that one drink in Denver is the same as two in Chicago (179m). However, the research is against it. Numerous studies have shown that altitude has no effect on your blood alcohol concentration (BAC). Both high altitude and alcohol does impair your mental performance, but the two do not become especially potent when combined.


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luis villazon
Luis VillazonQ&A expert

Luis trained as a zoologist, but now works as a science and technology educator. In his spare time he builds 3D-printed robots, in the hope that he will be spared when the revolution inevitably comes.

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