Many millions of people enjoy drinking all sorts of different alcoholic drinks, i know i do. There is now a new breed of alcoholic drinks storming onto the market with low carb and calorie claims. I am talking about the hard seltzers and for this article, Sonic Hard Seltzer.
However, there comes a point when you might think you have had too much. Perhaps you have to drive, work, look after the kids etc and just don’t want to end up drunk. But the question then is, how many Sonic Hard Seltzers to get drunk? How many Sonic Hard Seltzer does it take on average?
How many Sonic Hard Seltzers to get drunk?
The CDC states it takes the average 160lb adult male, 4 standard beers to get drunk. A standard beer is 12fl oz and 5% ABV which is the same as a Sonic Hard Seltzer. The 4 Sonic Hard Seltzer have to be drank over 1-2 hours. If you are a female or lighter then it will take less Sonic Hard Seltzer, if you are a significantly heavier male, it may take 5+ Sonic Hard Seltzer to get drunk.
What does drunk actually mean, what is the definition?
You could make a guess at what “drunk” means, we have all seen drunk people and know the signs, but do you know the exact definition? It needs to be a bit more precise than not walking too straight or slurring your words.
A blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% is classed as legally intoxicated in the US.
We now need to see how many standard drinks would get your BAC to 0.08%. All it takes is a little bit of math
How do you feel at different blood alcohol concentrations?
As you drink more alcohol than your liver can metabolise, your BAC rises. The effects of a rising blood alcohol concentration has been tracked by many studies.
You will be feeling the affects of alcohol long before you meet the legal definition of drunk. It is why you are recommended not to drive after any alcohol as you will still be under its affects before you would get a DUI.
Lots of informational websites include this data now.
- 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.
- 0.15%: Getting up to twice the legal driving limit now. You will have much less control over your balance and voluntary muscles. We have all seen someone who finds walking and talking difficult after a lot of alcohol. Falling and injuring yourself is a real possibility now.
What is a standard beer?
Beers come in lots of different shapes, sizes and strengths. There is no point in me saying “standard beer” and you imagining some 12% Imperial Stout when i mean a 4% Lager.
Luckily for everyone, the USDA have devised a list of “standard” alcoholic drinks. Each one contains precisely the same amount of alcohol – 14g of alcohol (0.6 ounces).
Below is a list of the standard drinks, volumes and ABV that all give 14g of alcohol.
|Drink and volume||Alcohol content|
|12fl oz Beer||5%|
|5fl oz Wine||12%|
|1.5fl oz Spirit||40%|
So as you can see, a standard beer is a 12fl oz and 5% alcohol by volume beer, which has the same alcohol as 5fl oz of 12% wine and a 1.5fl oz shot of 40% spirit.
Is Sonic Hard Seltzer the same as a Standard Beer?
In terms of alcohol and volume, Sonic Hard Seltzer is exactly the same as a standard beer. They both are 12fl oz in volume and 5% alcohol by volume.
Sonic Hard Seltzer is the equivalent on a beer in terms of alcohol content.
How many standard beers or Sonic Hard Seltzer to get drunk?
How many alcoholic beers or Sonic Hard Seltzer does the average adult need to drink to get to a BAC of 0.08% and drunk under the law?
The CDC tells us that the average 160lb adult male will need to drink 4 standard drinks, in this case Sonic Hard Seltzer, to get to a BAC of 0.08%.
The answer is therefore, it would take 4 standard beers or Sonic Hard Seltzer to get drunk. These need to be drank over 1-2 hours however, as your liver will start breaking down the alcohol in your blood as soon as it encounters it.
How does weight affect the number of Sonic Hard Seltzer to get drunk?
How much body mass and its composition plays a massive role on how quickly we get drunk. No doubt you will have noticed your smaller friends will likely get drunk quicker than your larger friends.
Alcohol is distributed throughout the body so if you have more actual body, less of the alcohol will remain in your bloodstream, lowering your blood alcohol concentration.
The table below shows how your weight can affect if it will take more or less than the usual “4 Sonic Hard Seltzer to get drunk” rule.
|Number of Sonic Hard Seltzer||140lbs||160lbs||180lbs||200lbs||220lbs|
How does sex affect the number of Sonic Hard Seltzer to get drunk?
Biological females need less alcohol to get drunk and get drunk quicker. This is due to a variety of reasons.
A females are usually smaller than males, they have around 40% less of an enzyme called alcohol dehydrogenase (the enzyme that breaks down alcohol) than an equivalent male and they have a higher percentage of fat to lean mass so more of the alcohol is in their bloodstream.
Below is a specific table for how many Sonic Hard it would take a female to get drunk. Remember the magic number to be classified as drink is 0.08% BAC. If you compare it to the take for males, you can see how much less they need to drink.
|Number of Sonic Hard Seltzer||140lbs||160lbs||180lbs||200lbs||220lbs|
What other factors affects how quickly you get drunk?
Different ethnicities have variations of some genes that are needed to break down alcohol. This can make their blood alcohol concentration spike quicker.
Notable examples would be people of Asian or Native American descent can have reduced levels of alcohol dehydrogenase, which breaks down alcohol. The result would be they get drunk quicker and on less White Claw
Nearly everyone knows if you drink on an empty stomach you will get drunk quicker. Folklore make you go out for a bit meal or breakfast if you are going out for the day drinking. There is method to this madness
A large meal, close to when you are going to start drink, will lower the absolute peak of your blood alcohol concentration. The food acts as a physical barrier to the alcohol leaving your stomach and into the bloodstream
Your body gets used to having alcohol in it and affects you less. Hardened drinkers need to drink more White Claw to feel its affects.
If you feel especially tired or have had a lack of sleep, you will feel the intoxicating effects of alcohol sooner than if you were well rested.
If you mix alcohol with sedating prescription medications or illegal drugs then these can work to enhance the sedative affects of alcohol and make you feel drunk much quicker.
Believe it or not, having very strong motions like anger, fear or being lonely can bring on the affects of alcohol quicker. If you are out at a bar with the expectation of being drunk, you may well feel drunk sooner as well from the placebo effect.
Some birth control pills or drinking at the premenstrual stage of a woman’s cycle can lead to higher blood alcohol concentrations.
How many non alcoholic and alcohol free beers to get drunk?
If it takes 4 standard beers to get drunk, it would take 40 non alcoholic beers and 400 alcohol free beers to get drunk.