Alcohol is probably the best invention of mankind. In moderation it makes you happy and high. In excess it makes you forget your pains. There is not one problem that cannot be solved by alcohol unless of course drinking is your problem. Alcohol has been used and abused by people from everywhere. As such there are a lot of notions people have about alcohol which recent studies have started to question. Here is a summary of the top ten myths commonly associated with alcohol.
10. If I can hold my liquor I am safe:
This is probably the widest belief that drunkards throughout the world have before realizing the kind of shit that they are in. Your ability to hold a drink in no way signifies that you are healthier, rather its proof that your body now has developed a tolerance for the alcohol. This in turn means you are more likely to get dependent on it. So the next time you think I am safe because I can hold my drink, think again.
9. Alcohol plus energy drink makes you super high:
Alcohol tends to make you more relaxed and sociable, and energy drinks usually laden with caffeine will make you feel more awake. The two are not complementary but rather opposite in nature. So the red bull in a ‘vodka red bull’ will actually mask the effect of the vodka, keep you awake and make you feel less drunk. This will only encourage you to continue your binge not realizing that you already have more alcohol in your blood than your normal binges.
8. Eating a heavy dinner after drinking will prevent a hangover:
Another myth which even I was convinced was true was that eating a heavy greasy meal after binging with friends would more likely prevent a hangover the next morning. Well the fact of the matter is alcohol once absorbed cannot be taken out of the blood stream so essentially you are doing nothing to reduce the blood alcohol level. Also having greasy food will actually contribute towards acid reflux and make it even worse for you the next morning.
7. Aspirin before drinking can save you from a hangover:
An attempt to prevent a hangover by consuming aspirin or Ibuprofen is futile or sometimes even fatal. If the meds are taken a while before drinking, their medicinal effects would not last long enough till the headache sets in and if the meds are taken while you are drinking then these can erode the stomach wall causing more alcohol to flow in and a liver inflammation. However a hangover the next morning can be countered with aspirin which will bring down the headache only temporarily. But I suggest more traditional methods like real aggressive hydration.
6. Not getting drunk enough then mix your drinks:
It’s a popular belief that mixing more than one drink is likely to make you drunk quicker. However in reality alcohol is alcohol, whether it’s flowing in from beer, wine, whiskey or a cocktail. Drunkenness is directly proportional to the net alcohol content of your drinks rather than the accompanying compounds. But beware, mixing alcohols does tend to upset the stomach.
5. Beer is good for a workout recovery:
Back in the days when I used to regularly hit the gym, I would notice guys headed for the local club for a couple of brews. And these were the serious bodybuilders. They were convinced that the carbs in the beer was actually replenishing the energy stores and beer had vitamins and minerals which water did not. The truth is even though beer is more than water but it is much wiser to choose an energy drink instead of the beer. Alcohol affects the liver and pancreas and apparently oxygen escapes the blood stream quicker in its presence. All this prevents the proper circulation of digestive enzymes within the body which means those extra carbs in alcohol won’t be digested properly anyways.
4. Thank god you Puked, at least you won’t have a hangover:
Biggest myth and found this out the hard way. If you are puking after consuming alcohol, it’s likely you’ve had too much of it already. Puking will only rid you of the excess alcohol which your body has not yet absorbed. So technically you have enough alcohol in your body to give you a hangover the next morning.
3. Alcohol destroys brain cells:
Here’s some good news. Alcohol consumption does not kill brain cells contrary to the popular belief. Though it impairs your ability to think, but the effects are not of the permanent nature. Infact it damages dendrite which is supposed to be tiny feelers on neurons which communicate messages from the brain to the body. No wonder, we have a poorer reaction time and our ability to speak properly or walk straight also gets impaired. However long term abuse of alcohol will lead to memory and motor nerve coordination problems.
2. Grab some Grub before drinking and you won’t get drunk:
Drinking on an empty stomach is a bad idea indeed. Food helps slow down the absorption of alcohol into the body. But once the stomach starts clearing the food out, it’s the turn of the alcohol. So basically eating a sumptuous meal before drinking will not keep you sober.
1. Sobering Up is under my Jurisdiction:
When I was in High School and my parents weren’t home all day, sometimes I would drink all day and before my folks got home would OD on coffee or take a cold shower thinking it would get me back to normal. Back then I was convinced that I had nailed it and managed to fool my parents. Only later I found out that they knew everytime I did get drunk but just did not make it an issue as long as I did it indoors. Coffee, cold showers etc. will merely make you wide awake but you will still be drunk. Only a rest and time will induce recovery, average 3 hours for every two drinks towards complete sobriety.