ZocdocAnswersAre alcohol and caffeine absorbed in the same way?

Question

Are alcohol and caffeine absorbed in the same way?

Does alcohol and caffeine affect the same part of your brain? Does BMI influence the absorption? If so, how?

Answer

This is a great question that should be discussed with your primary care physician. If you're asking about the absorption of alcohol and caffeine into the body, that might mean that you were asking about how is absorbed into the bloodstream from the G.I. tract. If this is your question, I will say that alcohol and caffeine get absorbed in a similar way. They both get absorbed in the small intestine. If you are talking about how they get into the brain, I can tell you that they both get absorbed across the blood brain barrier into the brain. However, what they do when they get into the brain is completely different. Alcohol asked to inhibit nerve signals in the brain causing drowsiness and relaxed feeling. This nerve signal inhibition can also cause impaired judgment, and problems with coordination. Caffeine does an entirely different thing to the brain. Caffeine asked to increase nerve transmission which increases alertness, increases heart rate, and even blood-pressure transiently. To my knowledge, BMI does not affect the absorption of caffeine or alcohol into the G.I. tract, or into the brain. It also does not affect the reaction that the brain has to the two chemicals. Certainly someone that is bigger will have a higher tolerance to each substance because of total body volume. Questions such as this can be handled by your primary care physician. I suggest that you schedule an appointment for further discussions.

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