In this day and age, much is being said about the health benefits of wine. Proponents claim that wine keeps you younger, reduces risks associated with heart attacks and even certain cancers. Opponents however, believe any form of alcohol is bad for human health. There are several claims floating around social circles, but not all of them are true. This article aims to bust some popular health related myths about wine. Whatever the case, moderation in consumption is the right approach to wine enjoyment.
- Women get drunk faster than men
A woman’s body processes alcohol differently than a man’s. Women generally have less body water to dilute the intoxicating effects of alcohol. Moreover, women metabolise (burn up) alcohol slower than men, as the alcohol metabolising enzyme present in the stomach is 25% less active in females than males. Therefore, women do tend to get drunk faster than men.
- Cold showers, fresh air or hot coffee helps sober you up
Neither of these will help reduce the alcohol concentration in your blood. Cold showers simply awaken your senses and tend to make you alert and focussed, as does some fresh air. Hot coffee can be your worst option to reduce a hangover, as the caffeine kick is only likely to further aggravate it.
- Drinking kills brain cells
Any form of alcohol abuse over several years can cause neurological damage, involving impairment of learning and physical coordination. However, there is no direct evidence that alcohol kills brain cells. In fact, it is now widely accepted and advocated that moderate drinking also helps the brain function better, improving cognitive skills and memory, among several other benefits. It is however important to note that humans have not yet been tested directly for positive brain effects.
- Beer is less intoxicating than other drinks
Alcohol intoxicates you, and alcohol is present is different volumes across various drinks. The volume of this alcohol we consume therefore determines our level of intoxication. Beer has relatively less alcohol volume in a bottle as compared to wine or vodka, but because we tend drink beer in much larger quantities, we end up consuming much more alcohol through beer. In a nutshell, a 12 ounce can of beer, one 4 ounce glass of wine or a normal mixed spirit drink is all equally intoxicating.
- Taking aspirin prior to drinking prevents hangovers
One must be very careful taking aspirins as they can cause internal bleeding of the liver which is already under attack by alcohol. In extreme cases, medication taken with alcohol can be fatal. One must be very cautious with administration of any kind of drugs post intoxication.
- Eating a big meal before you drink will keep you sober
Drinking after a full meal will only delay the absorption of alcohol into the bloodstream, but not prevent it.
- After drinking alcohol, if you feel fine you ARE fine
NO – Just because you don’t feel drunk, does not mean the alcohol isn’t doing you harm.
- Drinking water before going to bed will dilute the damaging effects
NO - As with food, your body is still absorbing the same units of alcohol you consumed.
- If I drink regularly my body becomes tolerant of alcohol
NO - You may find you need more alcohol in order to become drunk, but the body will not become tolerant of the damaging effects of alcohol when consumed in large quantities.
- Switching between beer, wine and spirits will lead to intoxication more quickly than sticking to one type of alcohol beverage
The level of blood alcohol content (BAC) is what determines sobriety or intoxication. Mixing drinks can tend to upset your stomach and make you feel sick; but don’t necessarily lead to more intoxication.