We at Health4u decided to bust the 10 most popular myths about alcohol that you have definitely heard of.
Myth № 1: A hangover makes you dehydrated.
In fact, alcohol upsets the water-salt balance, which leads to being thirsty. The amount of water in the body doesn’t change, but there is not enough water in the vessels, which is why it moves into the intercellular space. Water causes swelling, and that’s the reason for morning headaches.
Myth № 2: The older the wine is, the better.
Every bottle of wine has its own expiration date, so you can’t store it forever. Every kind also has an ideal age: for example, some kinds of table wines should be consumed within the first year, and you can’t store them for longer. There are also some wines that shouldn’t be drunk earlier than 10-20 years — they will taste bad.
Myth № 3: Alcohol makes you warm.
We feel warm right after we drink alcohol because the blood rushes to the skin. However, at the same time, it goes away from other body parts, including your internal organs. As a result, the body becomes less cold-resistant, although there are no visible signs of that.
Myth № 4: You can’t mix different drinks.
The way you feel after a good party depends only on the amount of alcohol you drink, not the variety. The only way to somehow explain this persistent myth is if you drink only one kind of alcohol, it’s easier to track how much you have drunk. So the chances of drinking a lot without noticing it are much lower.
Myth № 5: Alcohol protects you from radiation.
The origin of this myth is unknown. In fact, alcohol is not a cure for radiation, it doesn’t make radionuclides leave your body, and it doesn’t protect you from dangerous radiation. If you need protection from radiation, there are special medical supplies.
Myth № 6: Antibiotics and alcohol is a dangerous combination.
In fact, only some kinds of antibiotics are incompatible with alcohol. If you take such pills and drink alcohol at the same time, you might feel nauseated, dizzy, and you might have a pain in your chest. Your doctor must warn you about this when prescribing the medicine. Most antibiotics can’t harm you if you drink a glass of wine.
Myth № 7: You shouldn’t reduce the strength of the alcohol you drink.
Actually, even if you drink whiskey and then add some beer, nothing bad will happen. It doesn’t matter in what order you drink the beverages. The only thing that really matters is how much you drink.
Myth № 8: Alcohol is caloric.
In fact, alcohol is not caloric, but it can interfere with your metabolism. Your body tries to get rid of alcohol as quickly as possible because it treats alcohol as a poison. So your metabolism slows down until the alcohol is out of your body. Everything you ate before the alcohol turns into fat.
Myth № 9: Alcohol consumption destroys brain cells.
Research shows that there is no difference between the density of neurons among people who drink a lot of alcohol and those who don’t. However, it destroys the neural pathways, which can interfere with growing new brain cells. Fortunately, this change is reversible, and the neural pathways are restored after you stop consuming alcohol.
Myth № 10: If you eat a lot, you won’t get drunk.
This is a very popular misconception. However, large amounts of food don’t help you stay sober. The food in your stomach only slows down the absorption of alcohol. Because a person doesn’t notice the first signs of being drunk, he or she can end up drinking much more than they intended to.