So recently I have realized that my alcohol tolerance has PLUMETED since becoming paleo. 1 drink I am tipsy by the second I am fully drunk. And while I know I dont NEED to drink, I am a college student and its a huge part of the culture. Its very unsettling when I have only two glasses of wine and am acting as foolish as the girl next to me on her 7th drink. Has anyone experienced this as well, know why it happened, or have any recommendations to mitigate the alcohol's affects? Thanks!!
Did you avoid alcohol for a while when transitioning to paleo? Time off from it would of course affect your tolerance. If that's the case, then some good old fashioned regular drinking should bring it back over time.
Of course, eating food before/during drinking can mitigate the effects, allowing you to drink more. I'm guessing you already know that.
But anyway, I'd say this is a great thing. Cheaper, less calories, and perhaps less hangover to get the buzz. If you're really concerned about others' perception of your tolerance, just drink a tiny bit before leaving the house and tell everyone you pre-drank. Pre-drinking was completely acceptable behavior when I was in college which wasn't all that long ago.
Are you in ketosis? I've read lots of n=1 reports about people getting more shitfaced while in ketosis than when they're in glycolisys. I think this holds true for myself as well, but I haven't had a drink in 2 years so I can't verify.
I've had the same thing happen to me. I've chalked it up to a couple of things.
1) I don't drink as much as I used to, also I didn't drink at all for the first 6 weeks, so my tolerance has likely dropped.
2) Carbohydrates can delay the absorption of alcohol. So since my carb intake has plummeted, it is possible that 2-3 drinks would always get me drunk, but I'd be 4 or 5 in (along with some nachos, a burger, and some fries) before it would hit me.
This is happening to both my girlfriend and myself as well. As per one of the suggestions above that this may have to do with the amount of drinking having gone down... I was hardly drinking at all before paleo and I'm still hardly drinking but the effect of even just one glass of wine or one beer is that it hits me a lot harder.
As a college student I can sympathize with you about the drinking culture, especially because I go to a big drinking school. Whats your carb intake like? Ive found when Im eating less carbs I get drunker faster, especially in ketosis.
The same thing has happened to both my husband and I. I've never had a big tolerance but now if I have any more then 2 glasses of wine, I am very tipsy and I can't sleep.
I agree.... adjust your drinking, it will be cheaper for you and less hangover. Have mixed drinks with more mix then alcohol if you want to keep up without ending up under the table. It's really the act that you are going for.... wanting to have a drink in your hand while everyone else does. Just make sure you have something to drink in your hand, no one has to know it isn't always a mixed drink.
The bonus is you will remember the night, less chance of doing something you will regret and be able to wake the next morning without ill effects while everyone else is barely hanging on. It will look like you are a rock star and no one will be able to figure out how you can drink without being hung over...
Some people need to build a tolerance to alcohol to not get drunk as quickly. Your body could be producing less alcohol dehydrogenase which metabolizes alcohol. People who don't drink often (like me) have little of this enzyme and feel the effects of alcohol much sooner than someone who drinks more and so is producing more of it. Would be interesting to know if paleo/primal way of eating affects production of these enzymes.
This has happened to us as well, and I think it's more #2 than anything else. Even when on the SAD diet, I would have times it seemed I didn't drink nearly the same amount and I was gone already. Another factor for me personally is taking Adderall, which has become popular on college campuses and with clubbers for the ability to drink and not feel it as much. I make sure if I know I'll be drinking I don't take it in the afternoon.
I can't drink beer/gluten anymore, or red wine which I used to love. :( I find happiness with good-quality vodka and tonic/seltzer water w/ lime. I agree that if you keep something in your hand you should be able to keep the naysayers at bay. :) Of course, the one negative effect of not being drunk off your ass is realizing at times you're hanging out with a bunch of retards and it ceases to be fun! LOL
One of the things that shows up a lot when paleo people post their blood tests here is low blood triglycerides. Alcohol is notable for jacking blood triglyceride levels up. So in addition to the effect of the blood alcohol, there is a sudden destabilization of blood triglycerides which you wouldn't experience on a non-paleo diet.
Lots of reasons above: tolerance down after layoff, digestive differences due to diet change etc.
BUT. It is a common experience for alcoholics to find their tolerance making unexpected jumps--finding themselves loaded after 'normal' amounts or unable to get to a buzz.
Your milage may vary, but if this is what is happening you might want to consider if your drinking warranty has expired.