MYTH: BESIDES ALL THE EXTRA CALORIES YOU CONSUME WHEN YOU’RE DRUNK - ALCOHOL MAKES YOU GAIN WEIGHT
ALCOHOL IS LOADED WITH CALORIES Alcohol has nearly twice as many calories per gram as protein or carbohydrates. We've all read about the surprising calorie counts of our favorite alcoholic beverages – 740 calories in a margarita! 210 in a cosmopolitan! But even if you cut out the sugary mixers and liqueurs used in your favorite cocktails, you're still consuming a lot of empty calories. Remember: alcohol is not an essential nutrient. Any calorie we consume from alcohol is completely valueless.
It Prevents Your Body from Absorbing Nutrients. When you drink, your body has to shift gears and focus on getting the alcohol out of your system as fast as it can.
And while it's doing that, it can't process vitamins and minerals nearly as well, or maintain your blood glucose level. And both of those things are essential for keeping your metabolism running at full speed.
It Prevents You from Burning Fat. Your body turns alcohol into something called acetate. And it starts using THAT as energy before it burns off any food you've eaten, or any extra fat you're carrying around.
In fact, one recent study found that when people drank less than an ounce of alcohol over the course of 30 minutes, it decreased their body's ability to burn fat by 73 PERCENT.
It Makes You More Likely to Chow Down. This one's pretty simple. When you drink, it lowers your inhibitions. So if you're on a diet, you're more likely to CHEAT.
And if you're NOT on a diet, you're more likely to eat an ENTIRE pizza instead of just a few slices. That's partly because you're drunk, and partly because BEING drunk messes with your body's ability to tell you when you're full.
MYTH: TAKING AN ASPRIN BEFORE DRINKING WILL PREVENT A HANGOVER…OR MAKE IT LESS INTENSE
In reality, the opposite is true. Research shows that aspirin actually increases the amount of alcohol that ends up in your system, which makes you get drunk quicker—and stay drunk longer. In addition, mixing aspirin and booze can lead to gastrointestinal bleeding
Drinking after taking acetaminophen, found in Tylenol, can be even worse and may even lead to liver damage—so it’s best to heed the warning labels on the bottles for over-the-counter medications for this one!
MYTH: WOMEN GET DRUNK FASTER THAN MEN
Women actually process alcohol much differently than men—even when controlling for size. Men are generally leaner than women, but both genders have roughly the same size liver. This means that women clear more alcohol per unit of lean body mass than men do, releasing it into the bloodstream quicker.
More alcohol in the blood means women get drunk faster, and it also leads to another problem. Women have way less of the enzymes that break down alcohol in their blood, making it nearly impossible to go shot for shot with even their smallest male drinking buddy without getting far more wasted.
MYTH: BUDWIESER CONTAINS FORMALDAHYDE
IT USED TO
This might come as a shock to you. It shocked us when we found this on Notre Dame’s website . Canned beer does contain a small amount of the same junk that keeps your dead Kermit (frog) fresh for biology class. At least it used to.
Formaldehyde was used to kill bacteria that attacked the lubricant used in the manufacturing process of cans. The cans were rinsed, but a small amount always remained. People got used to this flavor in their canned beer. Other emulsions are used now, so there is no formaldehyde in current beers in America (there are reports that Chinese and Thai beers are using formaldehyde). Its legacy does remain – the newer emulsions created must have the formaldehyde flavor, otherwise it will change the flavor of the beer. People are so used to it, that they expect it
MYTH: SULFITES (IN RED WINE) CAUSE HEADACHES
Australian researchers published in Thorax (2001 Oct; 56 (10):763-9), showed that “only a small number of wine sensitive asthmatic patients responded to a single dose challenge with sulfited wine under laboratory conditions. This may suggest that the role of sulphites [sic] and / or wine in triggering asthmatic responses has been overestimated.” However, an asthmatic reaction is very different from a headache. No scientific study has shown any sulfite links to red wine headaches.
MYTH: DARKER BEERS CONTAIN MORE ALCOHOL
Coors Extra Beer is about 4.84% ABV. Guinness Stout contains 4.27% ABV. Budweiser has 4.6% ABV. Samiclaus, a dark Swiss beer, is about 12% ABV. Typical Belgian Golden ales are around 7%-10%. You get the idea.
The color of the beer has no corolation to the amount of alcohol in the beer. You can usually find a beer (ligher or darker) which has more alcohol than another beer.
MYTH: BY FEDERAL LAW THE NATIONAL DRINKING AGE IS 21
Each state can set the minimum drinking age to any number they like. Unfortunately, the federal government passed the National Minimum Drinking Age Act in 1984, which coerces states to keep the drinking age at 21. The law does not state the drinking age should be 21. It states any state that does not make the drinking age 21 will lose 10% of their federal highway funding. Louisiana held out as long as they could, but eventually caved in with the rest of the nation.
MYTH: ALCOHOL KILLS BRAIN CELLS
Surprisingly enough, the opposite is true. Alcohol, in moderation, seems to have some positive health effects, including brain benefits.
In fact, a 2005 study of 11,000 older women showed that alcohol can actually improve brain function and lower the risk of mental decline by up to 20 percent. Women who downed one drink a day scored as about 18 months “younger,” on average, on tests of mental skills than the non-drinkers.
However, the key is moderation: one drink a day for women and two for men and has a number of health benefits. Heavy drinking boosts the threat of liver damage, some cancers, and heart problems.
MYTH: THE BEST CURE FOR A HANGOVER IS ANOTHER DRINK
Although having a drink in the morning after a night of partying might delay the symptoms of a hangover, once your blood alcohol content is back down to normal, your symptoms will return—possibly worse, due to the additional alcohol.
Water and time are the only legitimate hangover cures. Water will alleviate dehydration and time will ameliorates the symptoms. Additional alcohol won’t do either. To make things worse, the pattern of drinking in the AM can actually lead to alcohol dependency.