Alcohol Myths: Debunked
By Jenny Hunt
February 17, 2012
We’ve all heard the rumors about alcohol: beer before liquor makes you sicker, drinking too much Budweiser will give you a beer belly, or drinking alcohol will keep you warm in cold weather. Are any of these alcohol myths actually true?
1.) Liquor before beer, you’re in the clear. Beer before liquor, never sicker: Almost everyone has heard this saying. Basically, the rumor is that if you drink liquor, then beer, you won’t throw up. However, if chase beer with liquor, you will get sick. This urban legend is in fact, not true. Whether you vomit from alcohol consumption is based on your Blood Alcohol Content and has nothing to do with the type of alcoholic beverage you consume.
2.) Drinking lots of beer will give you a “beer belly”: Many people believe consumption of large amounts of beer will cause you to gain weight in your stomach. However, recent studies confirm that beer drinkers have the same amount of belly fat as people who don’t drink beer.
3.) Drinking alcohol is a good way to deal with cold weather: Drinking alcohol in cold weather can actually be pretty dangerous. Alcohol makes the blood vessels in your skin dilate, making you feel warm, even as it causes your core body temperature to decrease. The decreased core body temperature brought about by intoxication could lead to fatal hypothermia.
4.) Eating a big meal before you drink will prevent you from getting drunk: Food does not decrease the amount of alcohol that is absorbed into your blood stream, it only slows it down.
5.) The worm in the bottom of a bottle of Mexican tequila is a hallucinogen: Firstly, Mexican tequila does not contain worms. It is another Mexican liquor-mescal-that contains the worms. The worms are grown on special farms just for this purpose, but they are just worms and have no hallucinogenic properties.
6.) Sucking on a penny or putting it under your tongue will help you pass a Breathalyzer test: A penny in the mouth will not change the results of a Breathalyzer test in any way. The copper in the penny, which is mostly zinc, does nothing to the breathalyzer.
7.) Drinking coffee will sober you up quickly: There are no shortcuts to sobriety. The body processes alcohol at the rate of 0.15 percent of blood alcohol content per hour. This is true regardless of age, weight, gender, or race.
8.) The number ‘33’ on a bottle of Rolling Rock refers to the year Prohibition was lifted: 33 is actually a reference to the number of words in their slogan on the bottles of Rolling Rock. The author was keeping track of the number of words in each slogan and forgot to remove it. The mistake made it to production, and the buzz it created convinced the company to keep it on future bottles.
9.) Alcohol destroys brain cells: Studies have shown that alcohol does not diminish or destroy brain cells. In fact, recent studies have shown that it actually improves brain function.