In this world of memes and constant social media posts, you’ve probably heard some questionable truths about alcohol. Like drinking hard seltzer will hydrate you, right? Yeah, think again. Before you pour that drink on Friday night, know where you’re getting your info about alcohol. We’ve got the facts!
Myth: I can’t get drunk on beer.
Truth: All standard sized drinks contain about the same amount of alcohol. So you will get just as drunk on two 12-ounce beers as you would on 10 ounces of wine or 3 ounces of whiskey or gin. Bottom line: having too much of any type of alcohol creates the same outcome: risky alcohol use. Consider this next time your friends say, “let’s crush some brews.”
Myth: Beer before liquor, never been sicker; liquor before beer, you’re in the clear.
Truth: How drunk or sick you get from alcohol depends on how much alcohol you have, not the type or order of the alcohol. Keep in mind that if you start with a drink that has a higher alcohol content, your decision-making skills might go down more quickly so you could end up drinking more.
Myth: I don’t have a problem with alcohol because I can hold my liquor.
Truth: Each person processes alcohol differently, based on age, weight, gender and other factors. That means people can have different limits. For example, a woman who weighs less than her guy friend will have a higher blood alcohol concentration after drinking the same number of beers in the same amount of time. But that doesn’t mean her guy friend won’t hit his drinking limit too. The truth is, everyone has a limit.
Myth: Alcohol can ease my chronic pain.
Truth: Although drinking may temporarily ease chronic pain in the moment, this type of alcohol misuse can put people at risk for additional health problems, including increased tolerance and addiction. In fact, alcohol use could possibly increase pain in the long-term by damaging your nerves. Reminder: if you are prescribed pain medications, mixing alcohol and pain medication (ibuprofen or prescription opioids) is extremely dangerous.
Myth: Coffee will sober me up.
Truth: Time is the only thing that can help you sober up. That’s because your body can only process so much alcohol at a time, so caffeine will not improve your coordination or judgement. Be careful if you choose to drink caffeine with alcohol because caffeine makes you more alert, and might make it harder to gauge how drunk you are.
Myth: A drink before bed will help me sleep.
Truth: Drinking before bed might cause you to wake up in the middle of your sleep and make it harder to get quality sleep. This can weaken your immune system and increase your chances of getting sick. Avoid drinking before bed so that you feel ready to go and are alert the next time you’re on duty.
Myth: Eating a big meal before drinking can keep me from getting drunk.
Truth: Alcohol enters your bloodstream as soon as you take your first sip. As you drink, the amount of alcohol in your blood rises, no matter how much you ate. While eating may slow down the effects of alcohol, it will not keep you from getting drunk.
Know the facts about alcohol, so that you can safely plan for your next night out.