Pick Your Poison:
As you wade through the sea of feelings and alcoholic drinks at the end-of-year festivities, or festivities at any time,
You may pick one or another for an emotional, contextual, or even marketing-“appropriate” reason.
And though people have laughed-off the idea of different drinks doing different things,
And the Cthulhulian-mythos of “Tequila Drunk”,
Science is figuring-out that those ideas may not be such old-wives’ tales after all…
First, A Few Mitigating Factors:
Now the personal history, social-contexts, and brand-marketing already seem to set the stage for the mood any drink would claim to convey.
But it turns out that for each one, there will be different natural chemicals included in them.
Usually, the darker the drink is naturally, the more of these “congeners” are present.
The other thing to consider is the social-ritual surrounding them,
And the other food, drinks, or other -stuff routinely consumed with them that can change the perceived result.
Wales (not Ireland?) Studies The Different Emotions Of Alcohol:
With all of that in-mind,
Researchers at the public health trust in Wales & King’s College London decided to find out if there was any truth to the notion of “different drunks”
And sure enough, There Is!
Spoiler Alert: No Tequila, Champagne, or Absinthe were specifically broken-out, so the docs missed out on the real pyrotechnics.
-And post-impressionist château-fires in the case of Absinthe.
So, in an anonymous, self-reported study of 30,000 people in 2015 called The Global Drug Survey,
Three main alcohol categories were surveyed:
2) Wine (Red & White)
3) Hard Liquor of all types.
And in that study,
The Main Positive Feelings Reported By Type Were:
• 53% -Red Wine
• 50% -Beer
• 33% -White Wine
• 20% -Spirits
• 58% -Spirits
• 25% -Beer
• 15% -White Wine
• 7% -Red Wine
• 60% -Spirits
• 45% -Beer
• 28.3% -White Wine
• 27.9% -Red Wine
• 42% -Spirits
• 25% -Red Wine
• 23.7% -White Wine
• 19% -Beer
Some Guesses At Why These Emotions Came From Different Alcoholic Drinks:
So you can see here that Beer & Wine were more in the passive & calm group.
The large amounts of melatonin and other mineral salts in wine were probably the main culprit for that,
Especially the elevated levels in red wine.
Beer was probably very calming due to the larger amount of carbs, hops, and perhaps residual yeast,
-Which may act further on any dietary sugars in small ways.
And it would appear the old adage of “Liquor Is Quicker” is definitely supported by the statistics.
Expected behavior, offsetting-drinks, and potential Red-Bull mixers might all help in the Energized & Confident metrics, too.
The Main Negative Feelings Reported By-Type Were:
• 60% -Red Wine
• 39% -Beer
• 18.4% -White Wine
• 15% -Spirits
• 30% -Spirits
• 6.7% -Beer
• 2.7% -White Wine
• 2.6% -Red Wine
• 27.8% -Spirits
• 9.3% -Beer
• 6.4% -White Wine
• 5.2% -Red Wine
• 22% -Spirits
• 17% -Red Wine
• 10% -White Wine
• 9.9% -Beer
• 47.8% -Spirits
• 19% -Red Wine
• 16.7% -Beer
• 14.5% -White Wine
For Some People, Boozing Is Coping, Despite Neurotoxic-Depression:
And strangely-enough, many studies also suggest that people will go out & drink not just moderately,
But to-excess, and also with the harder-liquors, in full expectation of the negative emotions & other factors that may ensue.
In those cases alcohol seemed to be used as a coping-mechanism, as dependent-drinkers were 500% more likely to feel energized by alcohol.
And as you might guess in a distribution that does not break out Tequila into its own nutbar category,
Hard Liquor led all the Negative measures by a wide-margin, except for making people tired.
One more thing to consider is that except for red wine, alcohol consumption is neurotoxic, and negative emotions may be similar to depression,
Especially-since most anti-depressants help by making you grow new brain-cells.
And Now The (Sort-Of) Stereotypes:
As for breaking things out further:
Women, Young people, and Heavy-drinkers were most likely to feel emotional effects, and also in greater quantities.
Out of those, Women and Young people did not get as aggressive, and Young people did not get tired.
Men who drink Beer were also less aggressive than men who drink Spirits.
Brazil & Colombia are apparently very sexy.
France is restless.
Italy gets somehow energized from red wine instead of sleepy.
And Norway is Fighty.
At Least It’s A Start:
So there you go. This study data & analysis are probably not perfect or comprehensive.
They are also not as pure as analyzing each drink chemically,
Or even testing them on a control group under laboratory-conditions.
But they can at-least suggest a starting-point for more specific work in the future,
If any intrepid alcohol-explorers out there do want definitive answers on whether Lone Star Beer’s unique chemistry starts fights,
or if Cachaça really does make you sexy,
Then the next round of studies is probably what will tell us that.
Until then, whether different alcoholic drinks cause different emotions will probably still be a little-bit superstition… To your health anyway!
Photo Credits: “Happy New Year’s!”, by Steve Rainwater
• Source: Public Health Wales
• More Coverage: Distractify’s Funny Take On 11 Types Of Alcohol
• Source Study: BMJOpen- Do emotions related to alcohol consumption differ by alcohol type? An international cross-sectional survey of emotions associated with alcohol consumption and influence on drink choice in different settings