Sunday, October 20, 2013

5 "Facts" About Drinking that Just Are Not True

Alcohol Myths
 credit and: By:  | Shine Food 
There's something great about tossing back a few (or several) brews with friends - but then you may be left to deal with the most miserable hangover you have ever experienced in your life the following morning. So you do your best to prevent that by avoiding the typical things: no beer before liquor, drinking a cup of coffee so you can sober up efficiently before bed, and staying away from the Red Bull and vodkas that you used to love so much. But sadly, none of these things are actually going to help you out. 

Alcohol is alcohol no matter how you consume it. While some drinks may be more alcoholic than others, it has nothing to do with their color, even though many believe darker beers are automatically higher in alcohol than their light counterparts. And as for those alcoholic energy drinks you're steering away from, that's probably a good idea, but it's not necessarily going to keep you from getting less intoxicated. People like to believe they can curb the side effects of a hangover by vomiting up the rest of the alcohol in their systems before hitting the hay or consuming lighter colored alcohol rather than dark whiskeys and cognacs, but in reality, if you overindulge at all, you're going to be hungover. Unless you have some super-secret trick up your sleeve we're unaware of. In that case, leave them in the comments section so we can create a whole new story for you! 

The reality of any alcohol-related situation is that drinking can impair your judgment, and can often lead to some pretty gruesome Instagrams and drunk tweets. The best way to avoid a hangover, and embarrassing hazy memories, is to not overindulge at all. Don't get us wrong - we encourage you to enjoy all that alcohol has to offer, but we think it's best to enjoy it in moderation so you don't have to worry about the hangover at all! But in case you had one too many last night, take an aspirin, a Tums, and load up on the fatty foods - these are things that actually will help you, and not just myths. 

 But we promised to debunk the myths, and that we did! We rounded up ridiculous alcohol myths and set the record straight. If you have more alcohol-related myths, add them to the comments section and we'll do our best to get to the bottom of your boozy questions! 

'Beer Before Liquor, Never Been Sicker' 

 This myth explores whether or not the order in which you drink different alcohols will make you sick. We left it to MythBusters rather than doing our own hands-on research and they reported that, "If you knock back the same alcohol content by chugging brewskies as you would switching between beer and liquor, you'll be at risk for the same aftereffects: dehydration, memory loss, nausea, and sensitivity to light and sound - in other words, a hangover." Regardless of whether you drink your beer before your liquor or your liquor before your beer, you'll still end up with your head in the toilet if you drank too much. 

Vomiting Helps to Sober You Up 

 This is another myth that does have some gray lines. Health Guidance reported that vomiting does expel the alcohol that is in your stomach and will stop it from further entering your blood stream, but the part of the vomiting myth that isn't true is that it will sober you up. The alcohol that is already in your blood stream needs to metabolize, which means that you might not continue to get drunker but you will in fact remain drunk until your body has completely processed all the alcohol in your bloodstream.

 Drinking Lighter-Colored Alcoholic Drinks Will Prevent a Hangover

 Drinking lighter-colored drinks like vodka and gin won't necessarily prevent a hangover the next morning, but it may help. The Mayo Clinic reported that congeners, products of alcohol fermentation and one cause of a hangover, are more prevalent in dark liquors such as brandy, whiskey, darker beer, and red wine than they are in clear liquors such as vodka, gin, and lighter beers. The same article reported that drinking too much of anything is going to make you hungover, though - so whether you're drinking light or dark alcohol it probably won't matter if you've had too much to drink anyway. 

Alcohol Kills Brain Cells

 This myth is unnerving for college students who binge drink regularly. But thankfully, those who overindulged in college can now rest easy - it didn't harm your brain cells. The New York Times reported that former researcher at the State University of New York at Buffalo Dr. Roberta  J. Pentney found that "alcohol disrupts brain function in adults by damaging message-carrying dendrites on neurons in the cerebellum, a structure involved in learning and motor coordination. This reduces communication between neurons, alters their structure, and causes some of the impairment associated with intoxication. It does not kill off entire cells, however." So there's nothing to worry about when it comes to your brain cells and alcohol, but that shouldn't give you the go-ahead to binge drink. 

 Dark Beer is Higher in Alcohol Content

This myth made us laugh a little bit when we came across it. Not all beer is created equal - you are truly in the hands of the brew master when it comes to the alcohol content of the beer you are drinking. You may very well have picked a lighter ale with a higher alcohol content than the dark lager your friend is drinking. Some lighter colored beers have a high alcohol content that can easily stand up to a big, bold, dark colored beer. So don't feel less bad ass because you ordered something lighter in color than the beer veteran standing next to you.