Over time, people have developed several theories and beliefs concerning alcohol consumption. These beliefs have gradually but surely become the norm among alcohol consumers, but which of them are based on actual facts?
From mixing, to theories on how to prevent hangovers, here are seven popular alcohol myths.
1. The older the wine, the better
People who claim to be wine ‘aficionados’ claim that aged wine is simply better because it has more complex in flavor, higher quality and sometimes more expensive. However, the age old claim might not entirely be true, and according to critics and experts, it completely depends on the wine. While some are meant to be stored for a few years to reach top quality, some are made to be consumed within one year of production and storing them for years won’t make them any better.
2. Mixing alcohol with energy drinks makes you drunker
People often mistake the feeling that comes with the combination of alcohol and caffeine as a higher level of “drunk.” However, the caffeine in energy drinks doesn’t actually intensify your drunkenness. In actuality, energy drinks alter the realisation of how intoxicated you are and blocks the sedative effects of alcohol that tells you when to stop. This will often lead to more drinking and higher intoxication.
3. Alcohol kills brain cells
It is true that a night of drinking can result in you developing jelly legs, and short term memory, but no actual long-term brain damage is likely to occur. The drinking will temporarily damage dendrites — little feelers on neurons that convey electrical messages from your brain to your body. The damaged dendrite interferes with those messages, making your world at that moment hazy, but just for a period of time. However, excessive use of alcohol could still have deadly long-term effects on your brain and your whole body.
4. Vomiting helps alleviate the effects of alcohol
It is important to note that alcohol’s absorption into the bloodstream begins almost immediately, hence even if you throw up as a result of excessive drinking, you won’t get out enough to prevent a hangover the next morning. Having said that, when you get to the point of wanting to throw up, it is advised you stop and close up shop for the night.
5. Coffee and a cold shower will sober you up
In this case, time is the only cure. Coffee or a cold shower in the morning might wake you up a little, but it won’t speed up the process of eliminating the bad stuff from your system. So before you let lose on alcohol, be ready to have the patience for every effect to clear.
6. Darker alcohol is healthier
There is a general belief that darker beers like stouts, and wines are the healthier choice of alcohol because they generally have more antioxidants than light beer and white wine. While the part of the antioxidants might be true, that does not make them healthier. As a matter of fact, those darker beers also contain toxic chemicals that have been created during fermentation. These chemicals can worsen the effects of excess alcohol consumption and make you sick. So the idea is whichever you prefer, drink responsibly.
7. Dark beer is higher in alcohol than light beer
You’ll often times hear people say that lighter beers “are for women” as they do not contain as much alcohol as the darker ones. Dark beers might look like they’re thicker and fuller in taste, but colour isn’t the sole measure for alcohol potency. As a matter of fact, the colour of a beer depends on the type of grain it was made from and not the level of its alcohol content.