What You Don’t Know About Alcohol

Asian woman holding a bottle of wine

Alcohol is drunk universally and when you drink alcohol, it makes you feel great, happy and top of the world, but the morning after, it can make you feel like hell too. Nevertheless, alcohol is synonymous with parties and is a huge part of our lives.

While the idea that you must always drink sensibly is a known fact, there are many studies on how alcohol can affect our brains and bodies. Let’s take a look at a few interesting things that we don’t really know about alcohol.

Effects of Alcohol You Never Knew About

It Takes around 30 Minutes for You to Feel the Effects of Drinking Alcohol

Although it takes around an hour for your body to metabolize a serving of alcohol, it only takes around 30 minutes before you feel its effects. This can help you pace yourself. If you find yourself drinking more than one drink in 30 minutes, it means you’re drinking too fast and too much. Try and slow down. And, in the meantime, if you feel thirsty before 30 minutes have gone by, then it’s a great idea to drink a glass of water.

Although Alcohol May Cheer You up, It’s a Depressant

When you consume alcohol, some body and brain functions become sluggish, as the alcohol affects your central nervous system. It causes your breathing to slow down, muscles to relax and also impairs thinking. Slowed reactions, slurring of speech and lack of coordination are all common effects of alcohol consumption. While you may not feel low when you drink alcohol, your body is actually depressed.

Drinking Alcohol Dehydrates Your Body

This may surprise you, as when you’re drinking, you are actually adding liquids into your body. You may have noticed that when you drink, you get very thirsty and the trips to the bathroom get quite frequent. This is because alcohol is a diuretic and when you are drinking, you actually lose more liquids via urination. Also, if you drink excessively, you may vomit, which also results in your losing more vital fluids.

Dehydration can cause a headache, dry mouth, insomnia, irritability and dizziness. Extreme dehydration can cause seizures, brain damage and even death. To avoid extreme dehydration drink alcohol in moderation, drink plenty of water, avoid fizzy drinks and salty foods.

Alcohol Can Give You Quite a Few Health Issues

That alcohol is bad for health, is a commonly issued warning. But just how bad can it really get? Well, turns out that alcohol may take away your cares and give you a happy high, but it can also take away your good health and give you more illnesses than bargained for. Long term use of alcohol can result in seizureshigh blood pressureanemia, and of course, cancer.

Sure, your bottle of Jack maybe a better friend to you than most other people, but not all friendships are healthy for you; don’t over-imbibe. Really, nothing good ever came of it anyway.

Alcohol Is Quicker to Harm Women Than Men

Sexist, we know! Like women don’t have enough haters to fight already; they now need to add alcohol to that list! Sadly, the effects of alcohol hit women faster than men, which means that all the above-mentioned illnesses are also quicker to hit women than men. And the “best part”? You and your male friend might have had the same amount to drink, but you’re still the one who’s going to come out of it for the worse!

Hangovers Reduce With Aging

Yep, it’s true. The symptoms of hangovers decrease with age and this could be due to anything from high tolerance levels, experience, or the fact that they simply drink lesser. But before you think about gaining a few years to be able to enjoy hangover-less drinking, think again because when older people do experience hangovers, they’re worse than what someone half their age might experience! Oh, and here’s a fun fact. Hangovers can be genetic, so you know whom to blame if you can’t count the number of times you’ve woken up with a pounding head and an aversion to getting out of bed.

How Alcohol Affects You Depends on a Lot!

The way alcohol affects you depends on a lot of factors, such as what you’ve eaten, how much you’ve eaten, your weight, your gender (as we just saw) and any medications you might be on. If you’re on the healthier side, alcohol takes longer to affect you. If you’ve eaten before drinking, that also means alcohol will take longer to hit you. (So a good tip is to either eat a light meal before drinking or to keep snacking and drinking water while drinking alcohol. This also reduces the possibility of hangovers). Also, certain medication (such as paracetamols) could increase the effects of alcohol on you, so beware what medications you’re on or have taken 24 hours prior to drinking.

Sobering up Quickly Is a Myth

We’re sorry to break it to you but sobering up is impossible with anything but time. You may try everything from water to showers to fresh air, and while these may make you feel better, they will not make you sober and all you can do is wait for the alcohol to metabolize and for the effects to wear off. Oh, and did we mention that sleeping off your high is a terrible idea? You could end up choking on your vomit in your state of unconsciousness, or if you were a little too enthusiastic with the variety of drinks you had, you could end up with alcohol poisoning which warrants immediate medical attention. In order to prevent the choking-on-your-own-vomit bit, ensure that the drunk person is made to lie down on their side with their head turned to the side.

But if you really, really need to kill your buzz, get someone to stress you out. No jokes, stress can indeed kill your buzz.

Beer For the Win!

Since we’ve probably killed any buzz you might have had, here’s a little something to cheer you up. Beer can apparently boost your brain activity! Beer contains a flavonoid called “xanthohumol” that can boost your cognitive functions, but don’t count your chickens before they hatch, or in this case, your beer before it arrives! You’d need to drink at least 2,000 liters of beer a day to gain any semblance of a brain boost, by which point it isn’t going to matter anyway. So just enjoy your beer for what it is since it can have the same effect that delicious food, exercise, and sex have on your brain!

The Last Dregs

Drinking alcohol can have some benefits like improving cardiovascular health, reducing the risk of diabetes and dementia and increasing your sex drive. On the other hand, it is a known fact that too much of alcohol is bad and can damage your organs, mental health and even cause many types of cancer. While many people believe that drinking one glass of alcohol after a long, stressful day can be relaxing, in truth, it can cause insomnia. So, like with most other things in life, the key to drinking also lies in consuming in moderation. Cheers!

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