Our human ancestors developed the taste for alcohol millions of years before they even figured out that whole agriculture thing. So you’d think that something so ubiquitous across cultures wouldn’t be so clouded in mystery and old wives’ tales. But you’d be wrong! From hangover cures to drunk driving, read on for some of the biggest myths about how alcohol affects your body.
1. Breaking the Seal.
Alcohol certainly causes people to urinate more frequently—and it’s not just all that extra liquid. Booze suppresses the hormone that, when you’re sober, regulates how often you have to pee. Breaking the seal? Not a thing! Urinating a lot when you’re imbibing? Totally a thing!
2. You Can Sober Up Faster By..
Want to speed up that sobering-up process? Unfortunately, you can’t: the only thing that helps you sober up is, well, the passage of time. Coffee doesn’t work. Showers don’t work. Vomiting doesn’t work. And, yep, as you might have suspected, the body’s ability to break down alcohol slows with age.
3. “Beer before Liquor..”
You might remember this old saying for your college days: beer before liquor, never been sicker, liquor before beer, you’re in the clear.” But is there any truth to that? Nope! Alcohol is alcohol is alcohol—if you’re consuming different types of alcohol on the same night, it doesn’t matter in the slightest which order you drink them in. Of course, liquor has much more alcohol than beer—so there’s that aspect of this popular adage.
4. Different Alcohols Affect You Differently.
Ah, tequila. It seems like everybody knows somebody that swears off the stuff after a particularly wild night—even while readily consuming other spirits and types of alcohol. But the truth is, the type of alcohol you drink does not impact your behavior—only the amount of alcohol you drink does. Research has also shown that people’s expectations of drinking a certain type of booze will have a psychological impact on how you behave after drinking it, too.
5. You’re Totally Fine To Drive if You Blow Under a .08.
Sure, you can still legally drive if your BAC is .08. But does that mean you should? Not necessarily. Studies have shown that even small amounts of alcohol can impair your driving. In many states in the U.S., you can also be charged and convicted with a DUI even if your BAC is below .08, as long as law enforcement can prove that you were too intoxicated to be driving. Your best bet? Take a cab home, even if you’ve only had one or two drinks.
6. When You Drink This Much, You’re an Alcoholic.
There’s no magic threshold for drinks consumed per week or night that makes you an alcoholic. It’s all based on the individual and their particular relationship with alcohol. Certainly the stereotype of the person who has to drink first thing in the morning is true for some, but not all, alcoholics. But you don’t have to be that kind of alcoholic to be an alcoholic—a psychological dependence on alcohol is a hallmark of the alcoholism, too.
8. Caffiene/Shower/Greasy Foods will Prevent Hangovers.
Sorry, there’s just no totally, utterly scientifically-proven hangover prevention out there. As much as it sucks, the best thing you can do to prevent a hangover from happening in the first place is by limiting the amount of alcohol you consume. Even drinking copious amounts of water won’t help!
And, yep, time is the only hangover cure that has been unequivocally proven to exist.
Source: Katie Waldeck, Care2.com