Date PostedNovember 29, 2013

Addressing Common Misconceptions about Alcohol

There are certain misconceptions that most people hold and perpetuate relating to the consumption of alcohol but I recently came across an article on which discussed some of the commonly believed myths about drinking and attempted to debunk them.

The article goes on to explain the myths,

744972-9c25b59c-3eb9-11e3-9370-fad865867213“Beer before liquor, never been sicker”

The order in which you drink your drinks doesn’t matter. If you start with beer then start drinking hard liquor, you’ll get a hangover if you drink too much. If you drink beer all night, you’ll get a hangover if you drink too much.

According to Myth Busters: “If you knock back the same alcohol content by chugging brewskies as you would switching between beer and liquor, you’ll be at risk for the same aftereffects: dehydration, memory loss, nausea, and sensitivity to light and sound – in other words, a hangover.”


Myth: Beer gives you a Beer Belly

Another common misconception is that drinking beer gives you a beer belly. When people notice some extra weight around their stomach area they think that beer consumption is the cause but the truth is any alcohol you drink has extra calories which could be adding to your waist line if you aren’t keeping track of your calories.

If you’re drinking more than usual, no matter the drink, you are going to put on weight. In fact whatever food you consume if you do so in excess you are going to put on weight.

Myth: Coffee will sober you Up

Another commonly held myth is that drinking coffee will sober you up. Your body must metabolise the alcohol you have consumed for you to become sober and coffee is not going to speed up this process.

According to MythBusters, if you’re plastered you have to wait for several hours before the alcohol leaves your system naturally.

The post goes on to state:

Alcohol kills brain cells

Hangovers often come with a nasty headache. But don’t let anyone tell you it’s because of all the brain cells your heavy drinking just killed.

Dr. Roberta J. Pentney, a former researcher at the State University of New York at Buffalo, found that alcohol disrupts the way your brain works but doesn’t destroy cells.

“Alcohol disrupts brain function in adults by damaging message-carrying dendrites on neurons in the cerebellum, a structure involved in learning and motor coordination. This reduces communication between neurons, alters their structure, and causes some of the impairment associated with intoxication. It does not kill off entire cells, however,” Dr Pentney told the New York Times .


Myth: Mixing alcohol and energy drinks can make you more drunk.

When you drink alcohol and energy drinks you don’t get more drunk, you just get drunk in a different way. Energy drinks have large doses of caffeine in them which makes you a “wide-awake” drunk, so your blood alcohol content will be the same as if you didn’t drink an energy drink.

Drinkers can stay awake longer when they mix alcohol and energy drinks because they are able to continue drinking even well beyond legal and safe limits (because they are less tired than they would be otherwise), thereafter they begin to jeopardise their health and safety.


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Peter Cutforth is a Director at Urban E-Learning, a global elearning, OH&S training, and web strategy firm based in Little Edward St. Spring Hill, Brisbane, Australia. Urban E-Learning provides compliance related online , Distance and Face-to-Face training products in the construction, hospitality and heavy vehicle transport sectors, to name a few. Examples include the White Card Construction induction course and the RSA - Responsible Service of Alcohol course. Peter's interests extend to training, safety and compliance, online marketing, and Mobile Apps.

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