The main myths about alcohol and its effects

Is a hangover cured by drinking more? Does dark alcohol make you less drunk? Do I have a belly because of beer? These are common questions users ask about alcohol. There are many myths surrounding the drink, its effects and the best ways to consume it so as not to have a hangover. In this article, we will try to unveil some of these myths and explain the truth that is contained in them, shall we?

Alcohol is a social element that accompanies the human being since the beginning of its history. Alcohol has always been present in our lives, whether as a social drink for banquets and meetings or as a ceremonial element. Some alcoholic beverages such as wine, beer or whiskey are thousands of years old and have been used by men either for fun or as natural remedies.

Alcohol, consumed in excess, can have negative effects, whether it is getting drunk or, the next day, suffering from the dreaded hangover. However, alcohol consumed in a responsible and healthy way does not have to be harmful. 

As we have explained, recreational alcohol consumption is almost as old as human beings themselves, so it is not surprising that, throughout history, several myths have been forged around this generally accepted social custom. as true, but in reality they are not. If you want to discover the truth behind these myths, we invite you to continue reading. 

Drink more to cure a hangover

Perhaps this is the most common myth and it is the one that has to do with the day after. As we have always been told, the best remedy for a hangover is to keep drinking. This actually leads to more intoxication, which can have very negative effects, as the hangover can end up being much stronger. Drinking more will prolong the effects of alcohol, but it will not eliminate or stop them, the hangover will come sooner or later.

What you drink influences binge drinking

One of the most common myths about alcohol is that different types of drinks cause stronger effects or have different characteristics, although the truth is that all types of alcohol cause the same effects. What does have an influence on the effect of alcohol, on how quickly it affects the body, is the speed and quantity that is ingested.

The mythical beer belly

The “beer belly” is well known throughout the world. We have always been told that drinking a lot of beer makes your belly grow, some say it is because of the gas and others simply blame the drink itself. Beer has very few calories, it is a very healthy food and the gas it contains is easily eliminated by the body.

The real problem is the lack of healthy habits. If you consume a lot of beer, eat poorly and have a sedentary lifestyle, it is most likely that you will gain weight, although the fault will not be only beer, it will happen with any drink you drink, even the best whiskey in the world will make you fat if not you move and eat excessively.

dark drinks are better

Another very common myth is the one that says that dark drinks, such as red wine, vermouth or black beer are healthier. This myth was created due to the belief that these drinks contain more antioxidants than clear drinks. Although in the case of wine it is true that it contains antioxidants, in general, it is a false belief. What these dark drinks do contain are more congeners, produced during the fermentation process and that are the cause of hangovers, so they tend to cause stronger hangovers.

aging wine at home

Everyone knows that the oldest wines are the most expensive. Everyone has heard of bottles of wine that exceed a thousand euros. It is quite common to buy a bottle of wine and leave it in a cupboard or cellar, hoping it will age and improve over time. However, not all wines are prepared to age in this way. Most commercial wines are sold in optimal state for consumption and should not be stored for more than a year, as they are not ready to mature further and will go bad. 

Mix alcohol with energy drinks

It is also not true that alcohol, when mixed with energy drinks, has more effect. What happens is that these energy drinks usually have a caffeine base that inhibits the sedative effect of alcohol, which leads to continue drinking even in situations where you would usually stop. The energy drink does not make you more drunk, but rather makes you drink more, due to a false sense of energy.

Eat before bed to avoid a hangover

Eating after drinking is useless. On the contrary, when you have been drinking, the liver is already working at a faster rate to process alcohol, so it can cause discomfort and even burning, which will add to the hangover. To avoid the effects of alcohol or, at least, to alleviate them, you should eat before consuming alcohol, in this way the absorption of alcohol is slower.

vomit to avoid getting drunk

When alcohol is consumed, it is almost immediately absorbed by the body. This means that vomiting does not help you be less drunk. If at any time, you consume so much alcohol that you feel nauseated, it’s too late not to get drunk, it’s best to prepare for a hangover.

alcohol kills brain cells

Although it may not seem like it, alcohol does not kill neurons. What happens is that it damages the dendrites, which are the connections responsible for carrying stimuli and electrical messages to the brain. It is for this reason that when someone gets drunk they have difficulty speaking or walking. However, this damage is not irreversible and will heal completely when you stop drinking.

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