New research shows how different boozes affect our moods: Red wine is relaxing, but spirits bring aggression and tears.
We really do drink our feelings.
A new study published in BMJ Open finds that different alcohols affect our emotions differently.
Researchers from the Public Health Wales National Health System Trust and King’s College London surveyed 30,000 tipplers ages 18 to 34 from 21 countries who had boozed in the past year. They asked what the drinkers knocked back and how they felt afterward, and found what many sippers have long suspected: That some drinks seem more likely to make us merry, while others make us moody.
And considering the average American expects to spend $50 on alcohol for Thanksgiving and down three to five drinks over the course of the meal, according to a survey done by ecommerce booze site Drizly, here’s some food for thought before pouring yourself a drink.
Those just looking to chill out before facing probing questions from the relatives should reach for wine or beer. Red wine drinkers in particular (nearly 53%) reported feeling relaxed, as did brew lovers (nearly 50%) and white wine sippers (nearly 33%). And those savoring a cabernet sauvignon, pinot noir, shiraz or another red were also the least likely to get weepy (just 10%), making this a relatively safe Turkey Day tipple.
Spirits are a mixed bag, however. While those raising a glass of scotch, whiskey or vodka were buzzing on more confidence (59%) and energy (58%) — and even felt sexier (42%) — spirits were also more likely to leave a bad emotional hangover. Almost half (48%) of spirit drinkers felt ill and tearful, and nearly a third (30%) became aggressive.
So if you’re prone to arguments, you might want to avoid the liquor this weekend.
More than 60% of drinkers also said that red wine left them feeling tired, so pouring a glass on top of a belly full of turkey could put you into a Thanksgiving coma.
A deeper dive into the data revealed that women were more likely to feel more varied emotions after drinking alcohol, while men were more likely to report feelings of aggression.
Drinking at home was also tied to feeling more relaxed and tired, while toasting on the town was more linked to feeling confident, sexy and energetic – as well as becoming ill or aggressive.
The researchers note that the study should be taken with a grain of salt (and maybe slice of lime), since it surveyed a self-selecting group of people online, which could have drawn those more prone to drinking alcohol. It also didn’t measure how much the participants drank on any one occasion – or, more importantly, whether they mixed drinks.
Still, the study says that its findings highlight, “the complex relationships between drink choice, emotions and the settings in which alcohol is consumed,” which warrants further study.
Also, please remember to drink responsibly, especially over the holidays, and to crash on your parents’ couch or order an Uber instead of drinking and driving home.
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