Alcohol breath is the bane of many drinker’s life, for more reasons than one. Just imagine this: you get to work in the morning after a good night out, greet your boss (keeping as much of a distance as is socially acceptable when greeting someone) and the first thing he or she asks is “Who reeks of alcohol?”.
Not only is this embarrassing, it also creates a sometimes unnecessary cause for concern, and can affect the way your performance is evaluated. You could be as sober as Judge Judy, but if that booze is still on your breath, you’re as good as ‘still drunk’ to the people around you and most importantly, to your boss.
According to The Huffington Post, while other substances we consume are digested, alcohol isn’t. Because your body sees alcohol as a toxin, it mainly uses the liver to metabolise it. The liver works at a rate that processes only one drink per hour, and until all the alcohol you’ve consumed is metabolised, it’s having a party all over your blood stream, including your lungs. This is what causes the alcohol breath we so despise.
This is also the key to how breathalyzers work – they measure a person’s blood-alcohol level by measuring the amount of ‘unprocessed’ alcohol in their body.
The best way to combat alcohol breath is to stay hydrated during your drinking session, and by hydrated we mean alternating between your drink and water all through the night. So, if you’re having a 340ml can of beer, have the same amount of water before grabbing your next beer, and so on. This will decrease the amount of alcohol build-up in your body.
This requires a lot of discipline and consistency, which is sometimes lost after you’ve just finished your third drink. This is usually the point at which you’re trying as hard as you can to convince your mates that you’re sober.
Here are five other tips that might not be sure-fire solutions, but are the best bet you have:
A garlic diet
There’s nothing worse than smelling like garlic first thing in the morning . . . Oh wait, there is! It’s smelling like alcohol!
To cover up the smell of alcohol, opt for a garlic-filled breakfast, mixing it into your eggs if you have to. As much as this feels like choosing the lesser of two evils, smelling of garlic has two benefits (in this peculiar instance): it covers up (as much as it can) the smell of alcohol, and will probably also discourage people from hanging around for too long, which is exactly what you want, right?
The pre-remedy version of this solution is ordering garlic-infused foods like garlic fries or garlic bread while you’re drinking. While eating garlic raw is also an option, remember that the odour is very strong and long-lasting, so you might still reek of it well into the next day.
A lot of coffee and water
Spend the rest of the day drinking a lot of strong coffee, and because water promotes salivation, drink a lot of it as well to keep your mouth and body hydrated.
More sweets than one
Eating one breath mint and thinking you smell as fresh as ever is like spraying deodorant on unwashed armpits and thinking you will smell shower-fresh all day. It will only mask the smell for a few minutes. Rather bring a bag of sweets to work and suck on them throughout the day.
Chew on herbs
Fresh rosemary, parsley, spearmint or tarragon work really well to mask your alcohol breath (they also work well for garlic breath, by the way). Chew a sprig of one of these throughout the day.
If the booze is coming out of your pores, spray on a bit more cologne than you usually would. And by a bit more, we don’t mean half the bottle! Keep re-applying small spritzes throughout the day. If you put on too much it might signal to your co-peers that you’re hiding something, so keep moderation in mind.
Sources: The Huffington Post, Fast Home Remedy