The old saying about health is true; you are what you eat. When it comes to alcohol and emotions; you are what you drink. Not every type of booze is the same. There are different effects on people who drink, depending on what type of alcohol they had, where they drank it, and how much they had.
There is almost the same amount of alcohol in a 12 oz. beer, a glass of wine, and a shot of hard liquor. However, the way a person feels after drinking each of these is quite different. With beer, the saying is that a person “rents” it. This is because beer passes quickly through the system and within about fifteen to twenty minutes of drinking a beer, most people need to take a pee.
With wine, there is a possibility of having a reaction to the impurities in the wine, such as tannin. With hard liquor, even though the amount of alcohol may be the same as a glass of wine, the concentration makes it easier to slam shots and then more quickly get heavily inebriated.
Researchers conducted a Global Drug Survey in 2016. The survey was conducted online and the participants were anonymous. The research effort, which were recently published in the BMJ Journal, studied the perceived impacts on a person from drinking different kinds of alcohol. The study had over 30,000 participants from the ages of 18 to 34 that live in 21 different countries. Researchers found some startling results about different kinds of alcohol.
Here are some examples of how different types of people perceive the effect on their emotions depending on what they drink.
Over half the participants in the survey (53 percent) felt that drinking a glass of red wine made them feel relaxed. Only 3 percent said that drinking wine made them feel more aggressive. For many people, wine is a comforting drink that they use to calm down and unwind.
Wine is frequently enjoyed with food. Eating a big meal makes most people a little sleepy. Having a glass of wine or two with the meal adds to this effect. There was also a difference between drinking wine at home alone and drinking with others or when out. This showed a correlation between the setting where the alcohol is consumed, the type of alcohol consumed, and how it made the survey participants feel.
Surprisingly, beer came in a very close second to wine in terms of the number of people reporting that drinking beer made them feel relaxed. This was 50 percent of those who responded to the survey. This is an interesting result because of the common use of beer for “tailgate” parties in the parking lots at sports events.
Anyone who has seen the violence that can break out amongst the crowd at soccer matches can attest to the fact that a violent mob is not feeling relaxed in those moments. Beer and other intoxicants fuel the aggression of these crowds at sports events.
Advertising may be influential on positive emotions in different settings because of the reinforcement by ads. However, there is no reinforcement of negative emotions by advertisements for alcoholic beverages, so bad feelings must come from something else.
3. Hard Liquor
Hard liquor is not something that most people drink to relax. Only 20 percent of the survey participants said that they felt more relaxed after drinking hard liquor such as bourbon, scotch, or whiskey. Of those who took the survey, 30 percent said that hard liquor made them feel more aggressive.
A large portion of the respondents (43 percent) said that drinking hard liquor made them feel sexier. An even larger portion (60 percent) said that drinking hard liquor made them feel confident and energetic.
2. Women Versus Men And People Of Different Ages
The survey found that more women than men are likely to drink the type of alcohol that makes them feel sexier. This is true whether the women are drinking at home or having a night out. According to the study, drinking hard liquor was also likely to bring out feelings of restlessness, tearfulness, and illness for women. Women were more likely to feel stronger emotions than men, except for aggression. Men were much more likely to experience a feeling of aggression.
Younger people of regardless of gender were likely to drink alcohol that made them feel energized. Older people of both sexes were likely to drink alcohol that made them feel relaxed and even tired.
1. Alcoholics Versus Regular Drinkers
Alcoholics have a different reaction to drinking than regular people do. For alcoholics, one drink is too many and 1,000 drinks are not enough. Many alcoholics have a kind of allergic reaction to alcohol that may produce different effects in the body than regular people experience.
People who are dependent on alcohol are five times more inclined to say that drinking alcohol gives them more energy. They are six times more likely to say that alcohol makes them more aggressive. Daily alcohol users report that they need to drink just to feel “normal.” Over time, heavy drinkers have to drink more and more to get drunk. They also reported a wider range of emotional effects, than regular drinkers.
Many past research surveys have studied the effects of alcohol on people. This is one of the few global surveys that studied the effects of different kinds of alcohol on the emotions that people feel. The type of alcohol you drink, the place where you drink it, your age, and gender all are factors that contribute to how you feel after drinking different kinds of alcohol. Bottom’s up! Or if you are dependent on alcohol, see you at the next AA meeting.