Not all the lessons you learnt about responsible drinking are true. Remember the time when everyone pinned your severely inebriated state on mixing drinks? As it turns out they were wrong. Drinking myths are fuelled by parents and peers and are often some of our earliest lessons in responsible drinking. While some stray from fact, others defy scientific explanation. We compile a list of myths. Read on:
DRINK ON A FULL STOMACH TO AVOID GETTING HIGH
FALSE: You must line your stomach before you go out’. It’s an order many of our parents drummed into us during our first, tentative teenage forays in drinking alcohol.There was no leaving the house for a night out without a proper (often stodgy) meal. As adults we have the occasional slip-up, but it’s a piece of wisdom we all remember and try to implement as much as we can. But lining your stomach with a big meal before drinking can help to reduce the risk of getting drunk is one the biggest (and most surprising) alcohol myths.
Whilst a hearty meal does not prevent getting drunk, according to the NHS, drinking on a full stomach before you go out will delay the alcohol getting into your system. The meal does delay the rate at which any alcohol you drink is absorbed, but if you’re going on to guzzle a lot, then it doesn’t protect you from intoxication. That’s not to say, however, our parents were totally wrong.The NHS still does advise eating a proper meal before a night out -especially foods rich in carbohydrates and proteins. Incidentally, alcohol also reduces our self-control, making it easy to eat too much.
DRINKING WATER CURBS A HANGOVER
FALSE: While food and water may ease some of the symptoms, they won’t cure a hangover. The best way to avoid one is to moderate your drinking and have water between alcoholic drinks. Remember, water won’t make you any less drunk or protect your liver.
WINE IS NOT FATTENING
FALSE: There can be almost 200 calories in a large glass of red wine.Any sugar in mixers or cocktails, like a chilled Sangria, comes on top of the alcohol content in spirits.
WOMEN ARE AFFECTED BY ALCOHOL TO THE SAME DEGREE AS MEN
FALSE: Men have a higher average of total body water content than women (62 per cent compared to 52 per cent). This means men are better able to dilute alcohol than women. Other factors have also been reported that can make women more sensitive to alcohol, such as enzyme differences. All these factors mean that women are more at risk than men from the same level of drinking.
A COLD SHOWER, FRESH AIR WILL SOBER SOMEONE UP
FALSE: You might feel less sleepy, but only time will get alcohol out of your body. Depending on your weight, it takes an hour to process one unit of alcohol.
ALCOHOL IS A STIMULANT
FALSE: Alcohol is actually a depressant. Initially, you may feel more energetic or cheerful because alcohol depresses your inhibitions.However, that means you can also be less able to control your emotions or reactions.
BEER GETS YOU LESS DRUNK
FALSE: An average pint of beer (ABV five per cent), large glass of wine (250ml, ABV 11 per cent), or a `large’ double vodka (70ml, ABV 38 to 40 per cent) all have around 2.8 units of alcohol in them. This is what makes you drunk chemically, and the faster you drink the full 2.8 units, higher would be the alcohol level in your blood.
MIXING BEER, WINE, AND SPIRITS MAKES YOU DRUNK
FALSE: The amount you drink matters more than the type of drinks you consume or how you mix them. Your blood alcohol content is what determines how drunk you are. Mixing drinks may make you sicker by upsetting your stomach, but not more intoxicated.
YOUR BODY DEVELOPS A TOLERANCE TO ALCOHOL, SO YOU CAN SAFELY DRINK MORE
FALSE: The more you drink the more damage your body will sustain and the greater the risks. Tolerance can actually be seen as a warning sign that your body has started to be affected by alcohol.
DRINKING MORE THAN A GLASS OF WINE A DAY WON’T REDUCE YOUR CHANCES OF GETTING PREGNANT
FALSE: Women who drink a lot find it more difficult to conceive. A study reported in the British Medical Journal found that as few as five drinks every week may decrease a woman’s chance of getting pregnant. If you want to conceive, it’s probably best to avoid alcohol completely.
WHITE WINE IS A GOOD CHOICE FOR A PERSON WHO WANTS A LIGHT DRINK WITH LESS ALCOHOL
FALSE: A glass of white or red wine, a bottle of beer and a shot of whiskey or other distilled spirits can all contain equivalent amounts of alcohol, depending on the actual drink size and strength and will give similar readings on a breathalyser.
DRINKING TOO MUCH ALCOHOL CAN REDUCE MALE FERTILITY
TRUE: Alcohol decreases fertility by its effect on sperm quality and quantity. Men planning a family may want to consider reducing their overall alcohol consumption.
DARKER ALCOHOLS ARE ALWAYS HEALTHIER