Socializing with friends can be a lot of fun. Frequently, these get-togethers happen over drinks at a bar or restaurant.
You know how it goes. You’re catching up with friends. You have a few laughs, share a story or two, and everyone has a great time.
But what if you have other commitments?
What if, in addition to having a few drinks with friends, you have to meet your significant other, a judgmental parent, or your parole officer? Do you really want to arrive smelling like a distillery?
Have no fear, your favorite writer at Swizzle Club is here to help!
Why Getting Rid of Alcohol Breath Is Hard
When you consume alcohol, it isn’t digested like food.
The alcohol in your favorite beverage is absorbed into your bloodstream through your stomach lining and small intestine. From there, enzymes start to metabolize the alcohol so it can be eliminated – mostly by your liver.
Notice the word “mostly”.
While your liver does most of the work, approximately 10% of the alcohol you consume is eliminated when you urinate, sweat, and exhale. That is why simply brushing your teeth won’t get rid of alcohol breath. The smell is coming from your lungs and your pores.
Here’s the bottom line. It takes time for your body to process and eliminate alcohol from your system. Time is the only thing that will eventually get rid of alcohol breath but there are a few things you can try while you wait.
5 Ways to Get Alcohol Off Your Breath
While time will eventually get rid of the boozy smell that comes from an afternoon or evening of drinking, there are a few things you can try in the interim.
Here are 5 tips to help you mask alcohol breath and minimize the impact of potentially awkward social situations.
1) Brush Your Teeth and Use an Alcohol-Based Mouthwash
Even though we’ve established that “booze breath” emanates from your lungs, engaging in a little oral hygiene might help. Give your teeth a good brushing, floss, then rinse your mouth with an alcohol-based mouthwash.
If anyone mentions that you smell like alcohol tell them that you just brushed your teeth – and mention that oral health is really important to you. With any luck they’ll assume you’re obsessed with having fresh breath and not give it another thought!
2) Chew Some Gum
Head to the nearest convenience store, pick up some minty gum, and start chewing. The minty scent will temporarily mask the alcohol smell and stimulate your saliva glands.
It’s not a perfect solution but it may help you smell moderately better.
3) Suck on Cough Drops
Cough drops, like gum, have a strong scent of their own that can temporarily mask the smell of booze. Plus, if anyone thinks you have a sore throat (and possibly a cold), they won’t want to get too close to you.
If you’re doing your best to avoid smelling like a sailor on shore leave, personal space is a valuable asset!
4) Have a Cup of Coffee
I love a cup of java as much as the next person but if I’m too close to someone with coffee breath, I’m taking a big step back!
If you’re concerned about what someone might think of you if you smell like alcohol, having coffee breath will be be less detrimental to your relationship.
5) Eat Peanut Butter
Peanut butter has a strong aroma and, unless your friends have a peanut allergy, it’s a pretty healthy food. It also has a strong and distinctive aroma.
In any case, I’d rather be thought of as “the guy who likes peanut butter sandwiches” than “the guy who showed up smelling like gin”. But that’s just me!
Advice for Avoiding Alcohol Breath
Socializing with friends often goes hand in hand with having a few drinks. However, if you know you have an important engagement afterward, it might be best to avoid drinking altogether. Maybe you should order a soft drink instead.
No drinks = no alcohol breath!
If the thought of meeting up with friends without enjoying a drink or two is totally unappealing, at least order some food to lessen the effects of the alcohol – and be sensible about the number of drinks you have!