Common myths about drinking
- There’s no harm in getting hammered if you do it only now and then.
Excessive drinking, even infrequently, can cause serious damage to your body that you probably won’t even notice. Women should have no more than 2 drinks a day and men, no more than 3. Occasionally, women may have up to 3 drinks and men, 4, provided that the weekly total is no more than 10 drinks for women and 15 for men.
- Eating a big meal before you drink will keep you sober.
Food in your stomach only delays the absorption of alcohol into the bloodstream. A full stomach won’t keep you from feeling the effects of alcohol or getting drunk.
- You’ll get drunker if you drink hard liquor than if you stick to beer or wine.
There is the same amount of alcohol in in one regular beer (340 ml / 12 oz, 5 % alcohol), one glass of wine (140 ml / 5 oz, 12 % alcohol), and one glass of spirits (45 ml / 1.5 oz, 40 % alcohol). Each of these is considered a standard drink.
- Switching between beer, wine and spirits will make you drunker than if you stick to one type of alcohol.
Your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) – the percentage of alcohol in your blood – is what counts, not the type of alcohol you drink.
- I’m just drinking beer or wine spritzers. That can’t do any permanent damage.
Any kind of alcohol, if consumed irresponsibly, can seriously damage your digestive system, your brain, your heart, your liver, your stomach and other vital organs. Not to mention that it could also shorten your life by a number of years.
- I can drink as much as my boyfriend / husband.
It takes less alcohol for a woman to become intoxicated because women process alcohol differently than men. If a woman and a man of the same height and weight drink the same amount of alcohol, the woman’s blood-alcohol content will still be higher.
- Alcohol gives you energy.
Actually, the opposite is true. Alcohol is a depressant that slows your ability to think, speak and move. Your perception, coordination and judgement will be affected before you notice any physical signs of impairment.
- You’ll sleep better after a few drinks.
Alcohol may help you fall asleep, but it interferes with the quality of sleep and cuts down on the amount of restful sleep you get.
- A cold shower and a cup of coffee are good ways to sober up.
They may make you feel clean and awake, but time is the only thing that will sober you up. Coffee is a stimulant – it will keep you awake but it won’t make you sober.
- Alcohol makes you sexier.
Alcohol may make you less inhibited, but physiologically, it reduces your performance. You may end up engaging in something you hadn’t planned on, including unprotected sex. And that could result in unwanted pregnancy and/or sexually transmitted diseases (including HIV). Not sexy at all.
- If someone pass out after drinking, it’s best to let them sleep it off.
Never leave an unconscious person alone. Have someone call 911 for medical assistance. Roll the person onto his or her side, place the head to the side as well, and keep him or her in this position until help arrives.