10 Myths About Alcohol You Should Know

You often get told about what to do and not to do when drinking. I mean this can all be avoided if we didn’t touch the stuff, but who does that. The stuff is delicious and a social lubricant! Nothing says social like meeting people over some drinks. Well, that’s definitely how I see it. But next time you go for a social drink or more you should probably know the following 10 myths about alcohol. It will probably help you at some point in life.


1. Sobering up. It doesn’t matter what you do.

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We’ve all been there. A night out on the town and you think to yourself, ‘SHIT! I have work in 3 hours!” Yeah, you know what I’m talking about. You need a super fast recovery from the distraught state you may be in. From there you try every technique under the sun. Drink coffee, eat food, have a shower and whatever else (we’ve all heard of something).

Unfortunately, I have some bad news. You’re probably going to be drunk when you show up to that job of yours. Scientifically speaking the only way to ‘sober up’ is to rest and sleep it off. Sure the fact of eating before and during the time you are consuming alcohol is a pretty good idea. It slows down the absorption of alcohol. Your chances of peaking too early are arguably somewhat restricted. Pretty much meaning that you won’t make a total fool out of yourself early enough for you to deter people (in most cases).

What about exercise may you ask? Well, don’t bother with that either. I mean I’m all for flailing my arms and legs whilst on the dance floor. And yes it is true that you can excrete alcohol by sweating. But, all in all, your chances are only slightly (and I mean slightly) better. You see, exercising is said to only excrete what the liver haven’t metabolised, which is about 5 to 10% of the alcohol you have consumed. Now think about the amount of alcohol you have consumed and over what course of time.

I’d say take the chance and call in sick.


2. Mixing drinks doesn’t change how drunk you get and the hangover doesn’t get any better or worse

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Well let’s be realistic. Think about the last time you went out for a drink. Got it? Now, how many did you consume in that period? And how many of each drink did you have?

If your answer is hazy, that’s probably the base of your problem that proceeded after that night. You had too much to drink. Studies say that certain alcoholic drinks which contain high levels of impurities – like preservatives or artificial sweeteners can intensify the hangover.

Mixing drinks can upset your stomach, as you may have higher tolerances to certain drinks. But the chances are likely that “you just had too much to drink”, hence the aftermath of a horrible hangover from hell. After all alcohol is alcohol.


3. Paracetamol and ibuprofen are unnecessary

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Much like the first point, people have a belief that some form of pain killer before bed is what makes for a cure. All I can say is don’t bother. The thought of a pre-emptive effort to fight and counteract the hangover sounds like a rather clever idea in your drunken state, it’s pretty much redundant.

I mean unless you wrapped the pill in something that retards the digestion process (you’ll probably have to get really creative with this. Aluminium foil perhaps?). Either way there is really no point to it, well unless you fancy shiny metal things in your poo. Regardless taking a pill before bed would have no effect by the time you wake up. It dissolves in your sleep and well before that onset of a horrible headache kicks in.

Now, if you were thinking of taking it whilst drinking, DO NOT DO THAT! Apparently it’s 10 times worse. When you take paracetamol or ibuprofen whilst on the booze it can supposedly erode your stomach lining, which from there can lead to liver inflammation, liver damage and higher than normal blood alcohol content.

So drugs aren’t the answer man!


4. Breaking the seal

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So this is a bit complex. ‘Breaking the seal’ is not really breaking anything. The natural urge to pee arises as soon as you take that first sip of your alcoholic beverage.

When boozing the alcohol inhibits a certain hormone known as ‘antidiuretic hormone’ or ‘ADH’ from doing its job. Much like our inebriated bodies, this hormone just can’t function normally when you throw alcohol into the equation. The ADH’s job is to react with the brain and kidneys. It essentially coordinates the storing and conserving of water within your body, keeping the body hydrated. Quite an important function you might think. Well, until alcohol enters the picture that is.

The reason you pee a lot more is because the everyday functions ADH does is impeded by alcohol. In essence, the kidneys stop conserving water and dumps it away as urine. It just begins to have a ‘no f***’s given’ kind of attitude and does so until you have sobered up. Great right?


5. Drinking helps you sleep

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Personally I agree. But scientists always want to ruin the fun. According to them there are no doubt that alcohol can help you get to sleep, to the initial stage that is.

So for those who didn’t know, there are 5 stages to sleeping and in a normal cycle you achieve all 5 stages a few times depending on the time slept. But more importantly, alcohol ruins the sleep during the Rapid Eye Movement (REM) stage. During the REM stage, people are generally in a paralysed state. It is said that REM is the make or break point for sleep deprivation, tiredness and motor functions for the following day.

So next time you wake up feeling like shit, it was probably your REM stage being disrupted through drinking the night before.


6. Passing out from alcohol

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At many points in my life have I woken up in strange positions or locations from a heavy night of drinking, often with absolutely no recollection of what eventuated. Seems like something you’ve done before? Seems harmless? No Siree!

This is probably a cause of alcohol poisoning. I mean some people go ‘blackout’ drunk but be fully conscious, but it is troubling when you can’t move or do any ordinary motor functions like – walk or stand. The general consensus about alcohol poisoning is that the alcohol suppresses your central nervous system to the point that the normal reflexes that keep us alive are impeded. The chances of your breathing to stop or drowning in your own vomit are increased significantly and as a result you may die. Scary shit right?


7. Hair of the dog

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The hair of the dog is one of the oldest ‘so called’ remedies in the book. The term “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” definitely does not apply to drinking. Sure in a short term you may feel ‘better’, but realistically you are prolonging the inevitable hangover.

You’re avoiding the healing process! Why make it worse by tackling your problem head on with more alcohol? All those toxins you put through your body have to expel itself before partaking in more misdemeanours with your old pal alcohol.

Let’s be honest, you didn’t get that utterly horrendous hangover for drinking too little.


8. Underage drinking an epidemic

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Every parent, politician or a person of authority told me our generation simply “drinks too much” by comparison to what they supposedly did. Well, I can announce this is pure bullshit.

Funnily enough, it’s actually at an all time low. Do you know what that means old timers? You drank more than us whilst you were underage, a slight double standard I’d say. Also, academically speaking over 90 percent of college students do not run into any academic or legal trouble as a result of drinking.


9. Drinking certain spirits

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Let’s get the fact straight. Most alcoholic drink is pretty much the same as each other – tequila, gin, vodka, beer, wine and whatever else. It is the flavouring that makes all the difference.

But personal experience has led us to believe otherwise. People are known to get more manly with scotch and aggressive with rum. Several studies from all over the world make it seem like the placebo effect.

For example, a study conducted gave volunteers free booze if they took part in the study on the effects of alcohol. The catch was only half were given the free booze, whilst the other half were given alcohol-free substitutes with alcohol rubbed around the glass to make participants believe it was the real deal. And the results were fascinating as 80% of the participants became drunk-like. Dizziness, slurring, tripping and even speaking louder, just like you and me after 12 beers.

So next time you seem out of character with certain drinks think to yourself it may be just psychological. But then again you’ve probably had too much to drink.


10. Alcohol made you do something

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Alcohol made me do it. Oh boy have I used this excuse too many times.

Although it is hard to scientifically prove psychologists believe that it lies heavily within your head. Humans have the tendency to do stupid shit whilst they’re under the influence of alcohol (granted), but with enough motivation this can be very easily altered.

When you’re drunk it is a lot easier to say ‘yes’ and a lot harder to say ‘no’, you succumb to peer pressure or a subconscious thought that makes you believe something is a great idea at the time. Like texting your ex. People do this all the time. Why? If things have truly met its end why would you hold on to their number? The chances are likely that you want to contact them subconsciously to reignite a fire that’s clearly already dead. In this case, alcohol didn’t make you do it, it’s what you failed to execute whilst you were sober.

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