Monday, September 22, 2014

10 Myths About Drinking Visited

     Here is an article that I ran across in Drinks Business, by Neal Baker.  He does a great job of dealing with 10 myths about the consumption of alcoholic beverages.

     This is the myth that drinking too much – be it beer or anything else – can cause one’s gut to expand to orbit-inducing proportions.  In fact, a beer belly is much more likely to be caused by food than beer or any other type of alcoholic drink. Yes, beer can contain a surprisingly high number of calories, but one would have to drink a fair bit to match the calorific intake of even an average meal, healthy or otherwise.  The beer belly, should you suffer from one, can also be blamed on your genes. Yes, that’s right! Researchers who rounded up 2,000 able-bodied Czechs to test out this theory discovered that weight gain was a result of the calories you consumed – nearly all of which we get from food – and not the beer you drank. 

     The potentially toxic/hallucinogenic thujone that supposedly causes the psychoactive effects of absinthe only shows up in negligibly small trace amounts.  The whole reputation of absinthe is based on a very simple fact: It was a strong, no-frills, cheap liquor, and thus favored by big drinkers who couldn’t afford fancy wines and beers because of the sheer amount of their intake.  It was also favored by famously ‘unstable’ figures of days-gone-by, such as Vincent Van Gogh and Charles Baudelaire, so they may have added to this transcendental reputation of the spirit.

     This is the suggestion that a quick soak in a cold shower along with a giant cup of black coffee can, among other techniques, help a person to become sober faster.  Unfortunately the truth is the most boring and obvious fact that the only way to sober up is to let your body process the alcohol naturally.  Obviously, this takes time, which is why it is tempting to look for a quick fix. The beautifully simple mathematical equation of coffee (stimulant) + alcohol (depressant) = neutral sobriety, sadly, doesn’t work. 

     Mixing what one consumes in an evening’s drinking is, as the myth goes, the reason behind either excessive drunkenness on the night or excessive pain the morning after.  This is again a very simple myth to unravel, as it is down to the bare fact that drunkenness – and by extension, one’s hangover – is solely dependent on the amount of alcohol one consumes, not the form in which it arrives in the body.

    Even the most ardent beer fans would be hesitant to claim that beer is good to rehydrate after exercise.  However, research has suggested that beer can rehydrate athletes better than water for three key reasons: one, that beer’s vitamins and minerals offer health benefits that water doesn’t have; two, that the carbonation helps quench thirst; and, three, that the carbs help replenish energy stores.  Moderation is key, however.

     As comforting as a late-night snack can be after an evening’s drinking, that pizza or those cold leftovers will do very little to sober you up or reduce the severity of those hangover pains.
By the time that pizza hits the stomach, the vast majority of the alcohol consumed that night has already been absorbed into the body. And the craving for greasy food won’t help the liver metabolize the alcohol any faster.  In fact, the combination of alcohol and greasy food can actually contribute to acid reflux, meaning one might feel even worse in the morning.  If you want food to help slow down alcohol absorption, consume a snack or a meal before you start drinkingas this can help to pace the body’s intake of alcohol and process it more smoothly (i.e without the deathly feelings the next morning).

    This is only six of the myths, there are four more you can enjoy reading about at  

     I hope that you have had as much fun looking at these legendary myths as I have.  ;o)