The rate of metabolism of ethanol in humans has been assessed by intravenous infusion of ethanol/saline under feedback control to maintain a constant blood alcohol concentration. After equilibration, meals consisting predominantly of carbohydrate, fat or protein were eaten and changes in ethanol metabolic rate were found. Carbohydrate caused a significant increase in this rate and fat or protein caused small but non-significant decreases. Infusion of ethanol/saline resulted in a temporary fall in plasma free fatty acid levels and a steady rise in plasma triglycerides. The changes in alcohol metabolism following carbohydrate cannot be accounted for by changes in insulin, free fatty acid or lactate/pyruvate levels.