Drinking is one of the most common pastimes people engage in today. It is not always the event itself, but a common add-on of the event. So, even if you don’t go out drinking; your trip to a club will involve shots, your time at a wedding will include champagne, or your holiday abroad will include trying exotic drinks. And why not? Drinking is certainly fun. However, in our efforts to drink just the right way, there are a few untruths we may have learned along the way. Here are five of them, and why they shouldn’t be believed.
Alcohol helps you sleep
“Nightcap” is a popular, if a bit old timey, word that involves taking a shot of liquor to help you get to sleep. But the basis of this myth is not that alcohol does not help you go to sleep, it certainly does that. Anyone who has ever passed out at a party or even slept ten hours following a particularly lively night on the town can certainly attest to alcohol’s ability to put you to bed. But the problem is the type of sleep you get from it. Alcohol-induced sleep is rarely deep, which means that while you might spend ten hours asleep you will wake up feeling like you only had two. This is likely as bad a side effect of drinking as the hangover you will no doubt have the next morning. So, if you ever find you need more sleep, less alcohol is the best solution, not more.
Beer before liquor, never been sicker; liquor before beer, you’re in the clear
This age-old piece of wisdom has over time been proved to be anything but true. The assumption being that on your time out drinking, if you have beer first and then liquor later, your chances of getting too drunk and throwing up are much higher. But, if you reverse it, you are more likely to stay okay. Though originally thought to be a complete myth, it is now understood that there is a little wisdom to this one. The truth is that the type of alcohol you drink matters much less than the volume and alcohol content. The fact that liquor is a much stronger blend of alcohol than beer, means that a person is more likely to overdo it on liquor than on beer. So, when you start your night with beer, smaller quantities of liquor might surpass your limit, meanwhile when you start on liquor you have to drink more to surpass it, and so you have a higher chance of not doing that. However, it is entirely possible that you will get far too drunk on any type of alcohol; whether it’s liquor, beer, or wine. The most important rule is to simply pace yourself and know your limits.
The best hangover cure is more alcohol
There have been many hangover cures through time, most of which have been tried and disproved by scientists and drinkers alike. But the “hair of the dog” is the one hangover cure most drinkers will agree on. The Bloody Mary has essentially become the hungover drinker’s morning medicine. But, does this really work? It most certainly does not. Consuming more alcohol may make you feel better, but it is certainly not curing your hangover, but is instead simply postponing it. There are no specific cures for hangovers, so you should reduce your risk of getting one by drinking in moderation and drinking lots of water on the side to stay hydrated.
Aspirin or Ibuprofen taken beforehand will reduce hangovers
Due to the tendency of people to overindulge with alcohol, far too many alcohol myths centre around ways to prevent or reduce hangovers. But none of them truly work, and this is no exception. The reason in this case is fairly simple, these are drugs made to tackle an immediate problem. Taking them pre-emptively doesn’t help because, in most instances, they will already have worn off before they can be ingested. To counter this, you might be considering taking the drugs while you are already drinking, but this is a much worse idea. The mixture of painkillers and alcohol has been known to cause liver damage. The only safe time to take painkillers is the next morning, when you already have the hangover.
Older wine is better
This is a myth perpetuated by the media and fancy restaurants, where you hear references to “aged wine” and see the most expensive wines with fancy French names from some far passed year. While this is true in some cases, the majority of wines you find today are made to be drunk within a year or so of their production date. Much more than that and your aged wine will most certainly be bad wine.