Six Long-Standing Alcohol Myths Busted Wide Open

Most people think they have a pretty good handle on alcohol – at least to the extent that they know what they are doing with it. Unfortunately, the fact that thousands of people across the United Kingdom and every year find themselves seeking residential rehab centres for alcoholics suggests that most of us might not be quite as clued-up as we think we are.

One of the biggest problems is the way in which there is so much conflicting and contradictory information out there, which makes it difficult to know what to read into. Even if you have the best possible intentions, there’s every chance that the information you have been provided with from any given source is in fact far from the mark.

So in an effort to clarify a few of the more important and relevant points, what follows is a quick overview of six alcohol myths that have been doing the rounds for decades now and really could do with being put to bed:

1 – Mixing Energy Drinks With Alcohol Makes You More Drunk

While it’s common to assume that replacing a standard mixer with an energy drink will make you even drunker, this isn’t in fact the case at all. Instead, it’s simply a case of the caffeine and other stimulants in the energy drink somewhat augmenting the sleepiness you would otherwise be feeling as a result of alcohol consumption. As such, you don’t actually get any more drunk, but find yourself with more energy and therefore perceiving yourself to be less drunk than you actually are. And that’s exactly why these are exactly the kinds of drinks that lead to dangerous binge drinking.

2 – It’s Fine To Drink Spirits Before Beer, But Not The Other Way Around

There’s a longstanding myth that suggests that to drink spirits and then switch to beer is fine, but to do things the other way around will almost always make you sick. Everyone has their own theory as to why this is the case, but in reality it really doesn’t hold any water whatsoever. The reason being that the only thing that matters in terms of how drunk and subsequently sick you get is a) how much alcohol you consume and b) how quickly you consume it.  In terms of the actual type of alcohol, it really doesn’t make a great deal of difference whatsoever.

3 – Dark Alcohol Is Generally Healthier Than Light Alcohol

There’s a very slight shred of truth in this particular theory, which comes down to the fact that dark alcohol usually has a higher antioxidant content than light alcohol. Nevertheless, they also tend to be higher in calories and in instances where the alcohol content is relatively high or you intend to drink quite a lot, this slight difference in antioxidant content will not make any difference whatsoever. You will still get just as drunk and feel just as terrible the next day.

4 – All Wine Gets Better As It Ages

Once again, there is at least some kind of rational foundation to this particular rumour as there are certain wines that do improve with age and should be left for a number of years before being opened. However, the rule certainly does not apply to the vast majority of generic wines that are routinely purchased by the masses. Which is precisely why most of them come with a very clear expiration date printed on them, after which both the quality of the wine and its antioxidant content will deteriorate. As such, unless you know exactly what you are doing and have invested in a wine that is guaranteed to improve with age, it’s better to assume that your own plonk will head the opposite way!

5 – Dark Beer Has More Alcohol

This myth stems from the fact that when most people come across a drink that looks darker, richer and heavier than any other, they naturally assume that it must have a higher calorie content and be higher in alcohol. In reality however, the actual colour of any given drink (including beer) has absolutely no bearing whatsoever on any of these things. Not only are many dark beers lower in calories than light beers, but they can also have a considerably lower alcohol content too. Yet another illustration of why judging a book by its cover is never a good idea!

6 – Beer Is The Best Drink After A Workout

Last but not least, the fact that beer was determined to be an effective recovery drink some time ago led to the widespread belief that it is in fact the best recovery drink. In reality however, while it’s true to say that the vitamins, minerals and carbohydrates in beer go above and beyond plain water, beer doesn’t come close to delivering the same essential elements as a high quality sports drink. So that’s one excuse for a beer down the drain…sorry to be the bearer of bad news!




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