Alcohol myths that just aren't true

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Published October 25, 2013

| The Daily Meal

Alcohol myths that just aren't true

Alcohol myths that just aren't true

We rounded up the most ridiculous alcohol myths to set the record straight.

The 'beer belly' is caused by drinking a lot of beer.

Thank goodness you can relax and take an extra swig of your beer without loosening your belt buckle. Professor of food science and technology at the University of California, Davis Charles Bamforth is also an Anheuser-Busch-endowed professor of brewing science and he told Popular Science, "The beer belly is a complete myth. The main source of calories in any alcoholic beverage is alcohol...There's nothing magical about the alcohol in beer, it's just alcohol." Alcohol has a high sugar content, which means that drinking too much of it will cause weight gain. Period. But if you’re seeing some extra girth around your midsection it can’t necessarily be blamed on the few extra beers you threw back on Saturday night — it very well might have been the martini last night, or the glass of wine on Friday. There is no longer a need to single out your poor beer as the cause of alcohol-induced weight gain.

Men and women of the same height can drink the same amounts.

If you're a woman, the next time you try to go shot for shot with a bunch of your guy friends you should remember that you actually will get drunker faster than the men in the group. The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence reported that when men and women of the same height, weight, and build were compared, it was found that men tended to have more muscle and less fat than women. Muscle has more water than fat, which means that alcohol is more diluted in men than in women. So in reality, the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is going to be higher in a woman than in a man, and the woman will feel the effects of the alcohol sooner than a man will.

Absinthe is a hallucinogenic.

Believe it or not, there is actually an association dedicated to absinthe called The Wormwood Society. They reported that "Contrary to popular misconception, absinthe is not hallucinogenic, psychedelic, or narcotic. If you're looking for this kind of experience you'll be very disappointed in genuine absinthe. The only drug in absinthe is alcohol." Absinthe can be extremely high in alcohol content, though, making the drink extremely pungent when mixed in martinis and other cocktails. And let's face it, if you have too much of any alcohol you might start seeing things — it’s the beer goggles theory.

Mixing alcohol with energy drinks will make you drunker.

This was a tough myth to bust, but the answer is no, mixing alcohol with energy drinks will not make your drunker. California State University, Chico reported that alcohol mixed with energy drinks usually contains the same amount of alcohol as draft beers and wines, but it’s the addition of caffeine that can cause a dramatic intoxication. They reported that "experts have started to call [it] the 'wide-awake drunk.' Essentially, this means the individual will have the same blood alcohol content, BAC, as they would have without drinking the energy drink, however the stimulants creates a more 'sobering' effect." It should be noted that mixing energy drinks with alcohol can be incredibly dangerous to your health  — we don’t recommend it.

For more alcohol related myths, check out the full list.

Drinking coffee will sober you up.

MythBusters helped us to bust this myth. They reported that "Coffee does not help you get sober. If you're plastered, you're going to have to wait several hours for the alcohol to leave your system on its own. Drinking coffee won't make your body metabolize alcohol faster." Alcohol has to metabolize in your body in order for you to sober up. Caffeine won’t necessarily speed up that process, but it may heighten your senses and allow you to appear more sober. Unfortunately, you’ll just have to sleep off your drunken stupor.

For more alcohol myths, check out the full story

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