I've heard that eating greasy foods while drinking or while hungover is good because it helps 'soak up the alcohol'. This is common advice it seems while drinking. Is there any truth to it?

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    Duplicate of skeptics.stackexchange.com/questions/6727/…?
    – Zano
    Commented Dec 3, 2011 at 1:31
  • Yep. Vote to close. Btw.: Maybe it is the inverse to the idea - I don't know whether it holds - that strong alcohol helps eupepsia, if you have eaten fat food. Commented Dec 3, 2011 at 4:11
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    I've closed the linked question as a duplicate of this one, there was no answer there anyway and this on is a bit more general (greasy foods instead of just butter).
    – Mad Scientist
    Commented Dec 3, 2011 at 9:29
  • I tried to vote for "exact duplicate" close but then a yellow box popped up, so I used the "not constructive" reason instead. Something isn't working quite right with the system. Commented Dec 3, 2011 at 20:02
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    I think the answer is going to look like: alcohol absorption by the body is slowed by fat rather than fat "soaks up" alcohol. But it is better to have the general question on fat/grease than the specific one on butter.
    – matt_black
    Commented Dec 4, 2011 at 1:33

1 Answer 1


I found the following paper on PubMed - Observations on the relation between alcohol absorption and the rate of gastric emptying.

Alcohol (ethanol) is absorbed slowly from the stomach and rapidly from the small intestine, and the rate of its absorption depends on the rate of gastric emptying. When gastric emptying is fast, the absorption of alcohol is fast. When gastric emptying is slow the absorption of alcohol is delayed and peak blood alcohol concentrations are reduced.


A delay in alcohol absorption is noted when alcohol is ingested along with most foods, especially fatty or heavy, solid, proteinaceous meals, which are known to retard the gastric emptying rate.

So most food and fatty food in particular will slow down alcohol absorption.

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