Does Running Get Alcohol Out Of Your System

After a night of drinking, many people wonder how to sober up quickly. Some may turn to the idea that running can help get alcohol out of the system faster. As a runner myself, I’ve often heard discussions about whether running can speed up the process of metabolizing alcohol. Let’s take a closer look at this topic and whether running truly helps to remove alcohol from the body.

How Alcohol is Metabolized

Before diving into the impact of running, it’s important to understand how alcohol is metabolized in the body. When we consume alcoholic beverages, the liver works to break down the alcohol using enzymes. This process can take time, with the liver generally processing about one standard drink per hour. Factors such as body weight, metabolism, and the type of alcohol consumed can also play a role in how long alcohol stays in the system.

The Role of Exercise

Exercise, including running, can have various effects on the body’s metabolism. It’s often suggested that physical activity can speed up metabolism, leading some to believe that running could help eliminate alcohol from the system more quickly. However, while exercise does increase metabolism, it may not significantly affect the rate at which the body processes alcohol. The liver’s ability to metabolize alcohol remains relatively constant, regardless of physical activity.

Dehydration Concerns

Engaging in intense exercise like running while there is still alcohol in the system can also pose risks, especially related to dehydration. Alcohol itself is a diuretic, meaning it can cause the body to lose fluids. When combined with the fluid loss that occurs during exercise, running while intoxicated could lead to severe dehydration, which can be dangerous and even life-threatening.


While staying active and maintaining a healthy lifestyle are important, it’s crucial to understand that running does not significantly impact the body’s ability to metabolize alcohol. The liver’s metabolic rate remains the primary factor in processing alcohol, and the risks associated with exercising while intoxicated make it unwise to rely on physical activity to “sweat out” alcohol. It’s always best to allow the body the necessary time to process alcohol safely. So, the next time you’re contemplating a run after a night of drinking, remember that patience and time are key when it comes to sobering up.