Home » Can You Drink Alcohol Before a New Tattoo? {Must Read}

Can You Drink Alcohol Before a New Tattoo? {Must Read}

No, it is not advisable to drink alcohol before getting a tattoo. You should refrain from drinking alcohol at least 24 hours before getting the tattoo, ideally for at least 48 hours.

Getting a tattoo is not to be taken lightly. It entails far more than simply taking an appointment with the tattoo artist and getting yourself inked. A lot of preparation goes into getting a tattoo, and following some rules and regulations is essential.

One of the cardinal rules of getting a tattoo is that you cannot have alcohol in your system. It can affect your body’s response to adversely getting a tattoo.

Many people think drinking before the procedure would help calm the nerves. Some believe it can also raise the body’s tolerance for pain and remove their fear of needles if any. However, alcohol can have the opposite effect.

One should refrain from having alcohol for quite some time after getting the tattoo because it can affect how the body heals after the procedure.

Since getting a tattoo is a lifetime experience, as it will most likely become a part of your body that you will have with you for as long as you live, you should not do anything that can jeopardize the process.

What Should You Not Eat Before Getting a Tattoo?

As a rule of thumb, it is advisable to stay away from alcohol or any other beverages that may contain alcohol. You should also avoid too much coffee or energy drinks before the session.

Make sure you do not do drugs as well. These drinks act as a stimulant, and instead of calming you, they will only agitate you and make you more nervous during the process. Unfortunately, people have a misconception that alcohol can numb you during the process, but that is not true.

The traces of alcohol and other such drinks can stay in your system for at least 40 to 80 hours, and you have no way of knowing what reactions you may have.

Ideally, you should stay away from alcohol for at least 2 to 3 days before getting a tattoo to be safe and avoid complications. It’s because even after you stop drinking, traces will remain in your body for some time, and you should get it out of the system entirely.

Why Should You Avoid Alcohol Before Getting a Tattoo?

Why Should You Avoid Alcohol Before Getting a Tattoo

There are many reasons you should avoid alcohol before getting a tattoo.

1. Thinning of Blood

Thinning of Blood

The tattoo needle makes incisions in quick succession to push under the skin. No matter how little, some blood oozes out when you get pricked by the needle. Alcohol can thin the blood and cause excessive bleeding.

It means you will not only bleed more, but the artist will have lower visibility while drawing the tattoo, making the process more difficult. They will need help to see what they are doing clearly.

Moreover, alcohol can also affect blood clotting, preventing the blood from drying faster and causing it to ooze more.

2. Less Control

less control

You may even become irritable and drunk, losing control of your limbs. Since you have to stay still during the process, you cannot take anything that can cause mood swings or cause you to move around. It can even lead to accidents while under the needle, so it is best to stay away from alcohol.

3. Legal Problems

Legal Problems

Tattoo artists cannot work on you if you are drunk. Even if you do not look drunk, it can still cause the other problems mentioned above, like accidents due to reduced visibility or sudden movements on your part.

If it results in something severe, the tattoo artist could also sue you, as it would be his reputation on the line. Moreover, it is also disrespectful to the artist.

4. Bad Tattoo

Bad Tattoo

Tattoos are costly, and an experienced artist will charge you a considerable sum of money. The size and complexity of the tattoo will also play a role.

Hence, if your artist has trouble drawing the tattoo because of involuntary movements on your part under intoxication or cannot see what they are doing due to excessive bleeding, it will be a terrible tattoo that you will be stuck with. And it could be an irreversible process. Hence, it is advisable to stay away from alcohol before getting a tattoo.

5. Diluting the Ink

Diluting the Ink

Alcohol can dilute the tattoo ink, and this can cause problems when you are getting inked. The heart will pump excess blood in the affected area, so there will be more blood when you are getting inked.

The ink and your design will smudge, leaving you with faint lines. If the blood is diluted further, it will also make the ink run, and you will not get the precise details you want in a great tattoo. Hence, it is better to stay away from alcohol, at least for the tattoo you are getting.

6. Poor Choice of Design

Poor Choice of Design

Getting a tattoo design in the spur of the moment is never advisable; you should give it some thought well in advance. However, if you choose something at the last moment, you cannot make a clear decision under the influence of alcohol.

You may end up with something that you could regret getting later. It is best to remain sober and consider why you want to opt for a specific tattoo with a clear head.

Moreover, the tattoo artist will also give you instructions and ask for your final approval with the design, stencil, and where you want the tattoo. You must be clear-headed during the process, as removing a tattoo is expensive and painful.

7. Mood Swings

Mood Swings

Even a tiny amount of alcohol can cause mood swings and result in unpredictable behavior, depending on your tolerance of alcohol. Nevertheless, it could make you jittery and restless, and this will prevent the artist from doing their work correctly.

The final result will not be as accurate and precise as you wanted. Your behavior could also become a concern for others in the tattoo studio. A tattoo blowout could also happen, pushing more ink into the skin. Hence, staying away from alcohol can help prevent many awkward situations.

8. Poor Perception

Poor Perception

Even though you may not be drunk, alcohol can mess with your brain. And a terrible tattoo idea may seem like a good one under its influence. However, once the effect has passed, you may realize your mistake. Hence, it is best to avoid getting a tattoo under such circumstances.

Can You Drink Alcohol After Getting a Tattoo?

Can You Drink Alcohol After Getting a Tattoo?

Once the process of getting inked is over, and you have been under the tattoo gun for a while, it may be an excellent time to relax and finally enjoy a drink. However, there is still some time before you can have that glass of wine or beer.

Although you may think you are etching a work of art on your body, your body will perceive the process as a wound. There have been multiple needle pricks on your body, and just as your doctor does not allow you to drink alcohol after receiving an injury, it is similar to a tattoo.

If you drink alcohol, you may notice excessive bleeding and pooling blood. Your tattoo will ooze blood for the next 24 to 48 hours, and as mentioned earlier, alcohol thins the blood. Hence, the alcohol will cause more bleeding and refuse to clot or stop.

The tattoo will be like an open wound and not dry out.

The skin will not heal unless the bleeding stops. The resultant bleeding will also increase the risk of infections, and you may also get bloodstains on your clothes.

You will have very little control over your limbs and body under the influence, aggravating the wound further. In addition, your skin will also rub against the bedsheets while sleeping, and you may rub the wrong way under the effect of alcohol. It would be best to avoid anything impairs the skin’s healing process, and alcohol is one of them.

When Can You Drink Alcohol After Getting a Tattoo?

When Can You Drink Alcohol After Getting a Tattoo?

Since your tattoo can ooze blood even after 48 hours of getting the tattoo, it is ideal to wait for that duration before getting a drink. It is best to stay from alcohol till the bleeding has completely stopped. If you want to be safe, you should wait at least a week before you get a drink again.

By the end of the first week, you should notice clear signs that your skin is healing properly. It will dry out and start forming scabs. At this point, there is no more danger of blood thinning, so it is safe to have a drink.

What Should You Consume Before Getting a Tattoo?

What Should You Consume Before Getting a Tattoo?
  • You should have lots of water and fruit juices to keep yourself hydrated and nourished. It will keep you energized and help you recover quickly after the tattoo.
  • In addition, you should also have lots of green, leafy vegetables. These are rich in Vitamin K and excellent for blood clotting and thickening, which is essential for getting a tattoo. It can prevent excessive bleeding as well.
  • Carbohydrates are excellent for helping you stay strong and energized. Have healthy carbs from wheat, bananas, sweet potatoes, and berries. These will help you endure the pain from the tattoo process and assist in faster healing.
  • In addition, you must also stay away from the sun, and sunburnt skin will not be able to bear the brunt of tattooing. Keep your skin moisturized and stay away from the sun, or the pain will be much higher with sun exposure as it will turn your skin sensitive.


Use your discretion when drinking before and after the tattoo process. Staying away from alcohol will help you prevent many complications and get the desired results quickly. Staying away from alcohol for ten to twelve days, including before and after the tattoo, will not seem difficult if you look at the larger picture.

Talk to your tattoo artist and follow all their instructions properly. Even if you have received a tattoo, you should treat each new tattoo as a fresh experience. Refraining from consuming alcohol is one of the best things you can do to enhance your process of getting inked.

About Author

Jonathan Corby "Jonny" is a guy who is passionate about Tattooing and successfully running a Tattoo Studio in NY. Through my journey as a Tattoo Artist I have made unforgettable memories. This irrational poetry and sense of freedom of art on skin has given a blissfull experience to my life. Each Tattoo has a story behind it; Lets share one!