Despite the ‘fact’ that alcohol tastes and makes us feel good, here are 10 actual facts that you should know, be it for trivia knowledge, preventing a hangover or getting rid of that beer belly!
1. Eating Beforehand
Alcohol dehydrates you, we all know this. Going for a night on the town and worried about a hangover? Eat a large protein filled meal before you start drinking. Higher protein levels in you body slow down the effects of alcohol, and can prevent hangover effects the next day. Meals rich in red meat, chicken and cheese can work wonders.
You may also want to consider drinking a glass of water whilst drinking. It doesn’t sound very manly, but it is very common in bars and clubs. Water will help hydrate your body, again, reducing the effects of a hangover.
2. Shots or Mixers?
If you think you can’t handle shots, think again. Carbonated drinks such as vodka and coke, red bull and gin etc, are actually absorbed into the body faster than straight shots. So next time a friend challenges you to a drinking competition, take a shot for every time they drink a vodka and coke, and become a God! Of course, always drink responsibly. They will also, roughly, have the same alcohol level.
3. The Great Alcohol Cloud of Our Time
Sometimes I wake up at night sweating, having had a nightmare that there was no alcohol left in the world. If you’re like me… fear not. Scientists have found a massive alcohol cloud floating in space spanning a whopping 288 billion miles. That’s nearly enough to last a whole stag do (about 4 trillion trillion beers). But unfortunately for us, most of that cloud is full of methanol, which is produced after the distilling process, and is poisonous. FYI, during the prohibition in the US, bootleggers would add methanol to their drinks to give it a better taste, causing many deaths. The more you know…
4. Those Pesky Farmers
It is commonly thought by scientists that initially farming wasn’t to produce food and a sustainable environment, but to produce the necessary ingredients to produce alcohol… such as barley. The Pilgrims, Vikings and other settlers would all stop their travels if the were short on supplies. By supplies I mean alcohol.
5. Nobody Can Out Drink ‘Em!
Russia is the booziest country in the world. I lied, Ireland is. Sorry, lied again. Unbeknown to most people South Korea is actually the booziest country in the world.
Incidentally, the biggest selling spirit on the planet in a 2011 study comes from South Korea called Jinro soju. I’ve dabbled in it myself on my travels, and it tastes like a stronger from of Vodka.
You can check it out here if that floats your boat. It vastly outsold Smirnoff Vodka in second place and Lotte Liquor soju in third (also South Korean) last year.
6. Where There’s Hangovers, There’s Bogus Cures
Only for our amusement of how crazy these are, in the past ans present, there are some astonishing hangover cures that people actually use. There are absolutely no scientific facts based upon these, but I guess that’s where the placebo effect may come in. Here are some the the crazier ‘hangover cures’:
- France put salt in their coffee, yup, salt. Ew.
- In Puerto Rico people rub a lemon under their arm.
- Romans ate a fried canary. Poor bird.
- Haiti voodoo doctors go all voodoo on the bottle that gave them that god damn hangover, sticking pins in the cork
- And last but definitely not least, Mongolians have a nice tomato juice, and then ruin all the lovliness with pickled sheep’ eyes.
7. Ever Had a Wee Whiskey To Warm Yourself Up?
Having a whiskey or vodka is common practice to warm yourself up. It will have an effect because the alcohol causes your blood vessels to expand allowing the blood to rush to your outer body.
This however, causes the blood to rush away from your vital organs which can cause hypothermia. So it’s not a very good idea to drink for the purpose of warming it.
8. Is the Beer Belly Real?
Blaming that podgy belly on alcohol? Think again. It’s true that alcohol has quite a lot of calories, but so does everything that’s generally overall bad for you. Getting a beer belly is all about the amount of calories you intake.
So, if you have a bad diet and drink alcohol you’re on a one way street to belly central – so it’s not the poor beers fault, it’s yours! Healthier options for alcohol could be Wine, Whiskey and Gin or Guinness.
9. Know The Signs
If you’re like me and have ever had a few too many, being able to spot the signs of alcohol poisoning can be quite handy. I’ve never had it myself thank goodness, but you might know someone who has.
Symptoms include clammy skin, slowing down of breathing and continuous vomiting. I hope it never comes to that so remember always be safe.
10. You Must Abide by ‘The Rules’
The ‘Greaves’ Rules‘ are a set of drinking rules, that by law, if they are not followed you can be legally be executed by cow stampede at the nearest field. The rules are a set of 10 unbreakable oaths which makes drinking alcohol all the more enjoyable.
They originated when a fine fellow named William Greaves published them while visiting various pubs throughout the UK, to introduce order and protocol into proceedings such as round etiquette and refilling