Because I post so often about Foetal Alcohol Syndrome, people seem to think I am anti-alcohol all the time which simply isn’t true.
Anyone who wants to knock their livers into insensibility by drinking more than the average hippo could put away in a year only had themselves to blame if they’re not affecting anyone else, however everything in moderation as long as you’re not pregnant and I’m fine.
There are lots of myths about alcohol and although yes, it can lead to horrendously embarassing tweets and pictures on Facebook, it seems to be the drug of choice for many adults in our first world list of things to enjoy.
So – the myths:
1 – Drinking Coffee Will Sober You Up
I don’t know who invented this old chestnut. I remember having the saying repeatedly drummed into my head as a late teen with a heavy hangover, but it just isn’t true at all. You can’t sober up any faster than it take for alcohol to leave your system. You may feel more alert with the caffeine infusion, but you’ll still have to wait.
According to the NHS, it take approximately one hour for each unit of alcohol to leave your bloodstream but that can depends on things like weight, age, food eaten, liver function etc etc.
2 – You Sober Up Faster If You Are Sick
A well meaning friend once told me this as I hunched with my head over a toilet bowl in a nightclub. “Put your fingers down your throat, you’ll feel better,” Never able to achieve the magic formula that equals self induced vomiting, I carried on hugging the loo bowl while retching and watching the floor spin around faster than than a centrifuge on fast.
Again, you can’t sober up any faster than it takes for alcohol to leave your system. Is this getting a little boring? Yes, you might manage to lose a little of the liquid still in your stomach, but generally, it’s really not going to help at all if you try this as a cure all.
3 – Light Coloured Alcohol Keeps You More Sober Than Dark Coloured Alcohol
I have to laugh at this one. Yes alcohol contents differ on the bottles when we check them, but it doesn’t mean that vodka could be any less hangover inducing than rum. In this case, the lighter the colour doesn’t mean the less hardened drinker.
4 – Don’t Mix Wine, Spirits and Beer
I had this thrown at me by friends several times that mixing drinks makes you get more drunk, more quickly. While I’ve not found any research statistics to back this one up, it stands to reason that it’s the alcohol content in each drink that makes the resulting hangover better or worse than you expected. I’ve never drunk beer as just one sip has the effect of making me gag so I never had the opportunity to test this one out, but mixing wine and spirits is not going to make any difference if the alcohol content is the same.
5 – Lining Your Stomach With Food Will Stop You Getting Drunk So Quickly
Now this one I tended to believe as it was a good excuse to go for a meal before going for a night out. It’s only recently that I realised it was a complete myth and totally untrue. Yes, drinking on a full stomach might very well mean that it takes alcohol a little longer to be absorbed into our bloodstream, but it will still be absorbed. It might be a good idea to have a meal inside you before drinking but it isn’t going to stop you getting drunk.