Heineken is a huge brand and their Heineken 0.0, alcohol free beer is one of the market leaders. However can you get drunk drinking them and can you drive after you drink it?
It would take around 200 cans or bottles of Heineken 0.0, drank over 1-2hrs for the average adult to start to feel any effects of the alcohol it contains. That is about 18.5 gallons or 70 litres of Heineken 0.0. It is not possible to drink that volume therefore you can not get drunk from drinking Heineken0.0
I’ll walk you through those numbers but the bottle line is Heineken 0.0 can not get you drunk and you can drive safely after drinking any number of them.
For a full range of questions and answers on Heineken 0.0, ready my article here
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Can Heineken 0.0 get you drunk? How many would it take?
For many this is a key question when first starting to drink alcohol free beers. It’s a very valid question too.
When you get a bottle of Heineken 0.0, it looks and tastes like a Heineken so it is only fair to make sure you won’t get unwanted alcohol effects.
The best first step is to find out the legal definition of what “drunk” actually is and then work out how many standard beers it would take to achieve that.
Then we can use that to see what that would be in <0.05% ABV beers like Heineken 0.0.
What is the definition of intoxicated?
In the USA, to be legally intoxicated under the law, means having a “blood alcohol concentration” (BAC) of 0.08%.
How your body reacts to the alcohol you drink and how that translates into a BAC varies on a lot of factors.
Sex, age, weight, overall health and your past drinking experience or tolerance to alcohol can all play large parts.
For these reasons it can be hard to generalise how many drinks it will take someone to get drunk.
As well as person characteristics there is the amount, strength and time the alcohol was drank over.
So getting a flat number of drinks to get drunk doesn’t really exist but i’ll use some generalisations.
What are the effects of alcohol as BAC rises?
Not surprisingly, as your blood alcohol levels rise, so do the effects of alcohol on you.
Lots of informational websites include these types of scale for BAC rises…
- 0.02% – Probably the lowest measurable BAC where you can track any brain issues. You may feel more relaxed and potentially make poorer decisions.
- 0.05%: When you hit this BAC, your behaviour will may become over exaggerated. Speak louder and gesturing more are common. You may also begin to lose control of small muscles like the ones that control your eyes leading to blurry vision.
- 0.08%: This is the current legal driving limit in the U.S and many areas around the world. It is also the legal definition of intoxicated in the US. You will likely lose some coordination, so your reaction times, speech, balance, and even hearing will deteriorate.
- 0.10%: As we reach this BAC, reaction times and control will be reduced further. Your speech will be slurred, you think slower, and your coordination becomes poor.
The eventual outcome of a rising BAC is coma and death.
How many standard beers to get you drunk?
This is where we start to generalise somewhat but err on the side of caution.
If we first think of a “Standard beer” in the USA. It is a 12fl oz (about 350ml), 5% ABV beer.
If you drink 2 standard beers over 1 hour, you will probably get your BAC into the 0.4-0.6% region, depending on all those other factors i mentioned.
It is likely the average adult can drink more than this before being legally intoxicated but i will use this reduced amount.
If you are a 100lb female then it will take less than a 240lb man.
How many Heineken 0.0 to get you drunk?
If we translate 2 standard beers (5% ABV) into Heineken 0.0 (max 0.05% ABV) we can work out a rough minimum number you would have to drink over an hour to get your BAC to a level you might feel the effects and have a shot at being actually legally drunk.
Although in reality it might take up to twice this amount.
|12 Fl 0z Bottle of beer by ABV %||x2 US/Canadian Standard Drinks equivalent||Drinks needed for same alcohol volume|
|5% Regular Beer||2||2|
|1.2% Low alcohol||0.5||8|
|0.5% Dealcoholised/Non alcoholic||0.2||20|
|0.05% Alcohol free||0.02||200|
So you would need to drink x200 12fl oz measures of Heineken 0.0 to have the same effect as 2 standard beers.
Some other units of measurement are…
- 200 12fl oz cans or bottles
- 125 UK Pints
- 2400 fluid ounces
- 75 Quarts
- 18.75 gallons
So that is the amount of Heineken 0.0 you need to drink per hour to get up towards being legally intoxicated or drunk.
That is just impossible isn’t it. You would likely die trying i think.
Consequently, you can drink any amount of Heineken 0.0 you can and never get drunk.
Another way of looking at just how ridiculous trying to drink that amount is by looking at the rate you need to drink at. 200 12fl oz bottles over 2 hours is about 5 bottles every 3mins. Good luck.
If you want to try that impossible task you will probably want to know what Heineken 0.0 tastes like. Luckily I’ve an ultimate review of Heineken 0.0 vs Heineken here you you to read
Why do you have to keep drinking at that rate for BAC to stay raised?
When you drink alcohol, you absorb the alcohol from your gut and it makes its way into your blood. If you increase the amount of alcohol you drink, more of it makes its way into your bloodstream.
Your liver is working away to lower the blood alcohol concentration by breaking down the alcohol. You have to drink more than the liver can break down over a given time frame for your BAC to rise.
So not only do you have to drink a certain amount of alcohol to feel the effects of it, you also have to keep drinking alcohol at or above the rate at which you metabolise it.
This means that after you have somehow managed to drink 200 Heineken 0.0, you would have to keep drinking that many every 1-2 hours as your body is breaking down the alcohol as you drink.
My dedicated article to how many drinks does it take for both a non alcoholic and alcohol free beer to get you drunk can be read here