One Rum & Coke, please! There’s no better way to unwind after a hard day at work than to sip away your worries, come Friday night. Did you know, however, that you’re going to have to run for roughly 34 minutes to burn off half a bottle of red wine? Or, maybe, that the world’s oldest recipe is for beer?
So, in the interest of necessary alcohol awareness, here are 15 other facts about liquor you really should know.
1. Alcohol abuse kills 1 person every 10 seconds.
According to a World Health Organisation report, reckless alcohol consumption led to 3.3 million deaths worldwide, in 2012. Further, the report found that 16% of all alcohol consumers were guilty of binge drinking. Just for reference, binge drinking is defined as a pattern of drinking that raises Blood Alcohol Concentration levels to 0.08g/dL. In simple terms, this means 4 drinks for women and 5 for men, in about 2 hours.(source)
Remember to let the good times roll, but in moderation.
2. It only takes about 6 minutes for your brain to react to alcohol.
If you feel slightly boozy after one drink, don’t let your friends brand you a lightweight. Researchers in Heidelberg can testify to the fact that even one drink can quickly get to your head. Apparently, all it takes is 6 minutes.
As part of their study, these scientists discovered that 6 minutes after drinking an amount of alcohol equivalent to three beers, or two glasses of wine, changes have already taken place in the brain cells.(source)
3. Alcohol is not digested at all; it is absorbed into your bloodstream directly.
Let’s get technical, shall we? Alcohol is too cool for our body’s normal digestive process. Instead, 20% of the liquor you drink is absorbed directly into the bloodstream from the stomach walls, while the remaining 80% is absorbed through the small intestine. Once absorbed, the alcohol is distributed throughout the body. Being highly soluble in water, it tends to distribute itself in your body’s water tissues. This is the reason that organs containing lots of water, like the brain, are more susceptible to the effects of alcohol.
After which 90% of this alcohol is metabolised by the liver, while the other 10% is expelled from the body through exhalation and incessant trips to the bathroom. Factors such as strength of the drink, your body weight , gender and the speed of drinking determine how fast all that booze will be broken down by your best friend – the liver.(source)
4. People with blue eyes have a higher tolerance for alcohol and are, therefore, more likely to overdo it.
I know what you’re thinking -it’s super unfair that genetics should decide how many Martinis you can have before you embarrass yourself. But, according to a study that compared two archival samples of data, that’s exactly what this means. The first sample consisted of 10,860 Caucasian men, while the second sample set was made up of 1.862 Caucasian women.
The conclusion? People with light eyes, or more specifically blue eyes, drank a lot more liquor than their dark-eyed counterparts. However, if you do have blue eyes, tread carefully the next time you’re tempted by a drink. The study also shows that blue-eyed drinkers maybe more prone to alcohol addiction.(source)
5. Alcohol doesn’t make you forget anything. When you get blackout drunk, the brain temporarily loses the ability to create memories.
It’s time to bust this myth! Contrary to popular opinion, you don’t forget any part of a drunken night. Instead, excess alcohol prevents your brain from making any new memories. Blackouts are caused by a neurophysiological chemical disruption in the brain’s memory formation centre – the hippocampus.
Once we simplify the science, what this means is that your brain loses the ability to form any new memories, for a period of time. When you’re on the cusp of being blackout drunk, you can have heated discussions about politics, or dance like nobody’s watching – you just won’t remember any of it.(source)
You might want to rethink that drunk call, eh?