Booze Myths … take note, you may need to know for tonight


New Scientist has the lowdown on a few booze myths, so as part of your preparations for tonight, here is a quick summary …

Tempted to drink Coffee to sober up – Nope, forget it. It will not in any way reduce your blood alcohol level, so when you wake up tomorrow with a head that feels like a herd of elephants have been dancing on it, coffee is not a cure.

“Drink beer then wine, you’ll feel fine. Drink wine then beer, you’ll feel queer” – Not true, There is no chemical interaction between these drinks that makes you feel particularly bad the next day. The order in which you consume will not make any difference, its the total amount of alcohol consumed that matters.

Martinis should be shaken, not stirred – Apparently James Bond had it spot on, the shaken mix was twice as effective as the stirred mix at deactivating hydrogen peroxide. But does it taste better? Well apparently the most likely reason for Bond’s preference seems to be because it helps reduce the taste of residual oil left over when vodka is made from potatoes, the base vegetable used at the time Ian Fleming wrote his books. Humm, perhaps this calls for an extensive taste test … no don’t worry, I’ll do that for you … many times just to be sure, and then report back (if I’m still able to type)

Hanging a Spoon on the Top of an opened Champagne bottle preserves the Fizz – In a word, Bollocks.

Champagne gets you drunker than wine – Apparently true, and we don’t (yet) fully understand why.

Different Wines go with different food – Sort of true. Apparently high levels of iron leave an unpleasant fishy aftertaste so low-iron red wines might be a good match with seafood. To be honest, sod the rules, drink what you like, not what others tell you is correct.

Wine Consumption explains the French-Paradox – Sadly, its Not true. The amount of resveratrol in red wine is too low to explain why French people suffer a relatively low incidence of coronary heart disease, despite having a diet rich in saturated fats.

Absinthe is a Hallucinogen – Not true, and it never was true. Absinthism was either simple alcohol poisoning – some absinthes were 70 per cent alcohol, nearly double the strength of most distilled drinks – or caused by methanol and other adulterants found in some cheap liquor.

Ale drinkers will develop a beer belly – Its a common belief, and … gasp …its not true, there are studies that prove it. Why? well basically because alcohol is highly calorific.

And finally the one we will all need to know about tomorrow ….

Hangover cures that actually work – Sadly, none of them do, there is no known cure that works. However, its not just the alcohol, other factors are in play as well such as lack of sleep, smoking, overeating, snoring and all those other activities that occur during and after a heavy night. One glimmer of hope is your past experience … apparently around a quarter of drinkers are naturally resistant to hangovers, probably a result of genetic differences in the way alcohol and acetaldehyde are metabolised.

So there you have it, a quick summary. The actual article in New Scientist goes into it all in a lot more detail and links you to the studies that prove the above answers.

The link to the New Scientist article is here, oh and be warned, they want folks to register with them now. Registration free, and access to the article remains free for a limited time, so perhaps one of their new years resolutions is to remain in business, and why not, they are not a charity after all, they also have mortgages to pay like the rest of us.

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