Alcohol is among the most misunderstood substances. Here are 9 myths we seek to bust.
Guest blog post
Alcohol is among the most misunderstood substances. Some people know it is extremely bad for your health, while others advocate moderate consumption of the substance.
Regardless of your goal - preventing hangovers, releasing all caution to the wind because of a wild night, or reducing the amounts of calories you take in, drinkers tend to follow certain rules that they have set for themselves whenever they go out to drink with their friends, mainly so that they do not have to endure certain unpleasant results from that night.
Here are some myths about alcohol intake that you should be aware of, at least for the next time you or your friends go out for a drinking session.
Mixing energy drinks and alcohol increases your levels of drunkenness
The energy rush that caffeine gives you, in addition to the alcohol buzz, might make you think that you are experiencing a greater level of ‘drunk’. However, that is misunderstanding the effects of energy drinks in the first place.
Energy drinks, due to their caffeine content, will change the perception of the level of intoxication you have, but in truth it has no direct effects of the alcohol effects in the body. There is an exception though - mixing diet soda with alcohol, which increases the degree of intoxication.
However, do not go mixing the two drinks - it is best to avoid the combination, so as to avoid any negative effects through consuming too much caffeine or alcohol, such as addiction and ending up at a drug and alcohol Montana rehab facility.
Dark alcohol is always better
The cause of the darker color is the higher level of antioxidants, compared to white wine or light beer. Many people therefore think that they have more nutritional value, even if they have higher amounts of calories.
The truth is darker alcohols contain greater levels of cogeners as well. Cogeners are harmful chemicals that are by-products of the fermentation process, and these can make hangovers more intense.
You should take liquor before beer, because beer is a ‘softer’ drink
Many people seem to believe beer is a ‘softer’ drink, and it does not cause drunkenness, unlike a drink such as vodka, or wine. Another enduring myth is the nauseating feeling from taking a few beers and switching immediately to liquor. So, this results in the belief of ‘take the hard stuff before the soft stuff’.
In actual reality, the amounts of alcohol you consume matters greatly, much more than the type of alcohol you consume or the sequence of their consumption. It does not matter the alcohol you take - pacing is always important.
The older the wine, the better it is.
This myth has been in existence for hundreds of years, and when you buy a bottle of wine, you always want to check the year on the bottle. People will think that older wines have greater and deeper flavors, so their quality is greater.
The fact is surprising though - it really depends on the type of wine you have. Some wines are good only up to a year after their production, while others are meant to be stored in a wine cellar for some years so that they achieve their optimum quality. Keep in mind that the antioxidant content of wine actually goes down as it gets older.
Light beer is lower in alcohol content, compared to darker beers
The impression of dark beer is that it contains more alcohol, is fuller in its taste, they look thicker, and they seem as though they contain more calories. This leads to the blanket thought that beer such as ale and porters contain more alcohol content since they are darker.
However, color is not the only signal of a brew with lower calories. The color of beer is actually dependent on the variety of grains that it came from. That means that certain darker beers contain lower levels of alcohol, compared to their light counterparts. It is best to ask beer distributors or bartenders, so that you can be sure of the true alcohol contents and flavor of that beer.
Vomiting helps a person sober up
Not sure where this comes from, but it has been a long standing myth. People think that the body getting rid of alcohol that it has not digested means the alcohol has not been absorbed, and it will not contribute to your hangover.
The truth is alcohol absorption in the body happens almost immediately after you begin consuming it, and the amount that comes out during vomiting is a very small amount, and it will not make much difference. If you are vomiting, then that already indicates that the levels of alcohol in your body are already too high.
Taking ibuprofen or aspirin (or any painkiller) before heavy drinking reduces the effects of hangovers
Taking pills has always been a consolation to stop the annoying feeling of hangovers the next day. However, this effort to avoid the effects does not pay off.
In fact, the effects of the painkillers wear off before the annoying headache arrives. What makes them worse is the eroding effect that they have on the lining of your stomach, especially when you take them as you drink. When you combine this with the irritants that alcohol contains, the effects can include inflammation of the liver, and allowing more alcohol into your blood.
That will result in a host of other effects, including damage of the liver and very high alcohol levels in the blood. However, when you take the pain relievers after your drinking session, it can reduce the effects of the hangover, at least temporarily.
Alcohol consumption = death of brain cells
The truth of this is alcohol does impair your judgement, but it does not destroy your brain cells. Instead, it will damage dendrites - these are small feelers on neurons (nerve cells that transmit signals from the brain to the body), especially when you consume heavy amounts of it over a long period.
When combined with poor nutrition, it will lead to other effects on your health - and this is usually the case with alcoholics in general.
Alcohol consumption is a sensitive topic, especially since you are either a consumer or you know someone else who is an addict. It is important to protect your health, and it is very important to monitor your consumption as well.
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