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How to Drink All Night and Not Get Drunk

Jim Koch Sam Adams
Isaac Brekken/Getty Images for Nightclub & Bar Media Group

Ever wondered if there was some secret trick that would enable you to drink everything you wanted but avoid ending up a drunken, slurring mess? Well, now we know the answer.

We know thanks to a man named Jim Koch. While you might not recognize the name, you probably know his face: He’s been in tons of commercials for Sam Adams (see below) because he’s the chairman and co-founder of the Boston Beer Company (which makes Sam Adams).

Koch, as you might guess, drinks a lot of beer. A LOT of beer. And he recently spoke with Esquire about how he manages to stay on top of things in a (relatively) sober way, even after ingesting enough beer to make any normal human woozy or even downright sloshed. At one point in the interview, he offered up this highly intriguing nugget of wisdom:

“You wanna know my secret? How I can drink beer all night long and never get drunk?”

Well, who wouldn’t want to know that. The answer might surprise you: yeast.

Fleischmanns yeastYes, yeast. One teaspoon of your standard Fleischmann’s dry yeast per beer, and you will be able to throw back pint after pint and not end up face down on the bathroom floor later.

Koch says he likes to mix it into a bit of yogurt for taste. “One teaspoon per beer, right before you start drinking,” he explains.

How does yeast lessen the effects of alcohol? It’s a somewhat complicated chemical process, but the basics go like this: Yeast has a particular enzyme called alcohol dehydrogenases (ADH), which is just like what your liver uses to break down alcohol. So, if your stomach already has that enzyme in it when the alcohol arrives, the process of breaking down the alcohol will start much earlier, before it has a chance to get into your bloodstream (which is how you get drunk).

Next time you’re at the grocery store picking up a six-pack, be sure to stop in the baking goods aisle too. Your body will thank you later.

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