Drinking Myths Busted

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By Laura Pursey

For many of us students a big part of university life involves drinking. We spend as many evenings as we can out on the lash in various well known establishments such as Gallery and Tru, but do we really know all the facts about supposed hangover cures, our reactions to alcohol and the effects of the alcohol we’re drinking? Here are some surprising facts and urban myths compiled to help keep you in the know.

Diet mixers get you drunk faster- TRUE

Research has found that mixing spirits with diet drinks such as Diet Coke resulted in lower blood-sugar concentrations than when mixing with regular Coke. Apparently sugar can slow down the absorption of alcohol. It’s good to know that a lower calorie mixer will help you reach the level of inebriation necessary before entering the sweat fest that is Ziggy’s.

Taking paracetamol before drinking helps your hangover- FALSE

Paracetamol increases the stomach’s absorption of alcohol, particularly when taken an hour or so before drinking. So if anything, it’s going to increase the odds of a hangover. It also makes the alcohol stay in your system for longer as your metabolism is a lot slower. This means I’ll have to try and find a new hangover cure to help me make it to those dreadful 9.15s.

The darker the drink, the worse the hangover- TRUE

Alcohol contains toxic compounds called congeners that cause painful mornings after. These are a result of the fermenting process; so, the darker the drink, the more congeners it contains. So ditching the whisky and ale and sticking with your white wine and vodka will leave you feeling a lot brighter after a Thursday night Gallery.

Mixing your drinks will make you more drunk- FALSE

It’s the blood/alcohol ratio that determines how drunk you are. So mixing your drinks is no longer a solution for a cheaper, drunker night. It will not make you more intoxicated but will only leave you with a dodgy stomach and increase the chances of a sink full of chunder after consuming the greasy Efe’s you picked up on the way home.

Alcohol improves your sexual performance- FALSE

For some it may enhance your sex drive and even though you’ll be feeling less inhibited and more confident that you’ll be ‘the best they’ll ever have’, alcohol is a depressant drug and numbs nerve endings. This makes it harder for certain things to go up and less likely that the ladies will reach that certain point where it’s all worth the effort. All that fumbling around will most likely leave you feeling embarrassed and full of regret rather than satisfied the next morning.

Alcohol will make you feel warmer.- FALSE

You may think that pre-drinking before the freezing walk into town will help you beat the northern weather, but the truth is that alcohol actually decreases your core body temperature, regardless of the temperature outside. It can also increase the risk of hyperthermia. So be careful if you think you can hack the walk back to campus after a night out and be especially careful when thinking of rolling down Clifford’s tower naked.

At the end of the day the more you drink the drunker you get, and as we all know from experience this leads to a bad head the next day. However having a little bit of knowledge on what gets you drunk the quickest and what can help you ease the Thursday morning pain can potentially save you a few pennies and render nights out less detrimental to your degree.