Bangor University study reveals different emotional responses to alcohol

A couple drinking alcohol and two glasses of wine

GETTYA research suggests loutish drunken behaviour may be linked to the type of alcohol consumed

Rum, Vodka and Gin were strongly associated with feelings of aggression, illness, sadness and restlessness. Roughly two of five beer drinkers said the suds make them feel confident, while one-quarter of red wine drinkers said they feel sexier after a glass. About 30,000 people aged between 18 and 34 were asked about how drinking red or white wine, beer or spirits affected them, either drinking at home, or when out.

Professor Mark Bellis, Public Health Wales' director of policy, research and global development, says we should pay extra attention to spirits, which are associated with a rich history of violence. They may also be consumed in different social occasions so people may be drinking them deliberately to feel the drunken effect quickly while other types of drink are more likely to be consumed slowly or with food.

If you drink the hard stuff, you're much more likely to feel energized, confident, and sexy; those three emotions clocked in at 58.36 percent, 59.08 percent, and 42.42 percent, respectively. "Overall 29.8% of respondents reported feeling aggressive when drinking spirits, compared with only 7.1% when drinking red wine", wrote the researchers in the final report.

Moreover, spirits have a higher alcohol content. "People get that rush", he said, "and of course it damps down the consideration of the repercussions of some of the actions they might take". Or is it just kind of a self-fulfilling prophecy whereby we tend to drink red wine in relaxing settings and gin when we're preparing to get bladdered?

Confidence and sexiness make up the middle ground here; 27.88 percent reported feeling confident and 25.20 percent reported feeling sexy. The responses differed by gender and category of alcohol dependency.

A person pouring wine
GETTYRed wine drinkers reported the highest level of feelings of tiredness the report shows

Drinking red wine may elicit conflicting responses of feeling both sexy and exhausted, a new study suggests.

"This study appears to confirm the widely held perception that different drinks produce different emotional responses", James Nicholls of Alcohol Research UK and Alcohol Concern who was not involved in the study tells HuffPost UK.

It is worth also bearing in mind that there are compounds apart from alcohol in different drinks. "These expectations and motivations for drinking will influence how people actually behave when they have been drinking, and may in some situations lead people to drink at levels likely to cause them harm". "This can become a unsafe spiral, where drinking can be seen as a solution to emotional problems that it is actually aggravating". "Opting for lower alcohol options and alternating alcoholic drinks with non-alcoholic ones can help".

"It just doesn't work that great with alcoholism", Krakower said.

Ultimately the way you feel after a few drinks depends on a number of variables, including the type of booze. It was published in the peer-reviewed medical journal BMJ Open, which is free to read online.


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