29 Misconceptions About Alcohol

This week Hannah Hart from My Drunk Kitchen looks at some of the common misconceptions related to alcohol consumption. Want a transcript? Here you go!

1. Now did you know that, "Liquor before beer, never fear. Beer before liquor, never sicker" Is not actually true? In fact, the order in which you drink booze doesn't even matter.

2. And switching between beer, wine and liquor all in the same night will not make you more drunk. In fact, it's all about how much you drink.

And that was the first of many alcohol related misconceptions that I'm going to clear up for you here today.

3. Now many believe that once you "break the seal" by urinating once during a night of drinking, it increases the number of times you'll have to go to the bathroom throughout that night. Now obviously this is not the case, there is no seal! If there is, you should get that looked at. Alcohol is a diuretic so it is going to make you have to pee a lot. "Breaking the seal" has nothing to do with it and please, don't pee on marine mammals.

4. Many blame it on the booze when it comes to weight gain and a so called "beer belly" but, alcohol doesn't actually make you gain weight. Then what explains all this weight I've been gaining?? In fact, studies show that women who have a drink or two each day are less prone to weight gain than those who don't drink or those who sometimes binge drink. Oh binge drinking, that's what it is. The studies point to a difference in the way alcohol is metabolized in the bodies of women who drink in moderation. As for the "beer belly" that's just a result of calories consumed. Those calories can come from booze or maybe the half a dozen breakfast burritos you consumed this week.

5. One of the more bizarre myths about alcohol is that the brand "Goldschlager" contains its little gold flakes because they cut your throat on the way down, causing the alcohol to be absorbed quicker and leading you to get drunk faster. Bizarre but thankfully untrue. Those gold flakes are just a result of a happy little Leprechaun that works in the factory.

6. And while we're on the good news, there is no worm in your tequila. Well there might be. But it's not necessary for the drink. This was a marketing scheme which originated in Mexico City in the 1940's. And yes, sometimes there is a worm (actually a butterfly larva) particularly in American tequilas. But check the label. And if it doesn't say con gusano, then it's larva free.

7. Now some claim that alcohol can make you hallucinate. Particularly if you've been drinking absinthe. But, absinthe just has a high alcohol content. Hallucinogen? Not included. This myth has historical origins, but it is now believed that early absinthe-related hospitalizations were due to alcoholism, not hallucinations.

8. Sucking on a penny will not help you pass a breathalyzer test. This myth came from the belief that copper somehow conceals the alcohol and fools the breathalyzer test. Which, first of all, isn't true. Plus a penny is only about 2% copper.

9-12. Here are some other things that wont work: mints, batteries, protein and cigarettes. Here's a tip. If you feel as though you'd need assistance passing a breathalyzer test, don't get behind the wheel of a car. Or a golf cart, Bill Murray.

13. Alcohol doesn't improve your performance in bed. Additionally, it may be more of a challenge to arouse and reach orgasm because a lot of alcohol dulls body sensation. In men, alcohol affects blood flow to the penis which limits their abilities.

14. Now some claim that despite blacking out from binge drinking, all of their memories from the blackout came back to them in a flash. According to studies, these are actually false memories. Blackouts cannot be recalled.

15. The lines on the popular red solo cup do not exist for alcohol measuring. The company has claimed time and time again that the lines on their cups were not placed for alcohol measurement.

16. Many believe that diet soda and alcoholic drinks doesn't get you drunk. But in fact, diet soda causes the body to absorb alcohol quicker, making you drunker faster than you would have been had you mixed it with regular soda.

17. On the other side of the spectrum, people claim that combining energy drinks with alcohol makes you drunker. Turns out, this combination just energizes you. Big shock. This may make you feel less intoxicated than you actually are, which, typically leads to more drinking. And poor decision making. And maybe you climbed that scaffolding that one time. And then now your friends call it "toxic jock syndrome."

18. Do you think that tequila makes you happy, wine makes you sad, or whiskey makes you angry? There is no evidence that the type of alcohol you're drinking can make a difference in the "type" of drunk. Studies show that the number of drinks and speed of drinking have a much greater effect on your mood than what you happen to be drinking.

19. There is also no scientific evidence that alcohol causes you to tell the truth. Though many experts believe that there is often a connection between drunk claims and sober thoughts, but the jury is still out on this one.

20. It's a misconception that eating a big meal before drinking keeps you sober. Eating does help with the absorption of alcohol in your body, but it delays rather than restricts alcohol from going into the bloodstream. Because of this slow absorption though, eating a big meal before drinking does help reduce the severity of a next-day hangover. Not so much the case with eating a big meal after drinking, but we'll get to that.

21. Many believe that a nice nightcap before bed helps you sleep. While the drink can help you go to sleep faster, the alcohol makes it so you spend less time in REM, or deep sleep. So people who have been drinking tend to sleep lighter and wake up earlier. This fact has solved all the riddles I have been wondering about, why my sleep is so poor.

22. Many believe that taking Tylenol before bed after a night of drinking prevents a hangover. But ANY acetaminophen medicine should not be mixed with alcohol. If you feel the need to take something, go with ibuprofen. But that still won't necessarily prevent your hangover.

23. You can't cure a hangover by drinking more. That just prolongs the hangover. The phrase "hair of the dog," in reference to having a drink the next day after a heavy night of drinking the night before, comes from the belief that if you add the hair of a dog that bit you into your medicinal potion, you can drink it and get better. And you won't have rabies! Or herpes! You'll still have herpes.

24. You can't cure a hangover with coffee. The alcohol has already dehydrated you. So adding coffee, another diuretic, only further serves to dehydrate your poor, desperate body.

25. So here we are at the end. Let's talk sobering up. The only way a person sobers up is over time. So if you've already been drinking, the following will not work. Cold shower,

26. exercise,

27. fresh air,

28. coffee,

29. and food.

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[Images and footage provided by Shutterstock.]

By Ben Wittick (1845–1903) - Brian Lebel's Old West Show and Auction, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons
Photo of Billy the Kid and Pat Garrett, Purchased for $10, Could Be Worth Millions
By Ben Wittick (1845–1903) - Brian Lebel's Old West Show and Auction, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons
By Ben Wittick (1845–1903) - Brian Lebel's Old West Show and Auction, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons

Several years ago, Randy Guijarro paid $2 for a few old photographs he found in an antiques shop in Fresno, California. In 2015, it was determined that one of those photos—said to be the second verified picture ever found of Billy the Kid—could fetch the lucky thrifter as much as $5 million. That story now sounds familiar to Frank Abrams, a lawyer from North Carolina who purchased his own photo of the legendary outlaw at a flea market in 2011. It turns out that the tintype, which he paid $10 for, is thought to be an image of Billy and Pat Garrett (the sheriff who would eventually kill him) taken in 1880. Like Guijarro’s find, experts say Abrams’s photo could be worth millions.

The discovery is as much a surprise to Abrams as anyone. As The New York Times reports, what drew Abrams to the photo was the fact that it was a tintype, a metal photographic image that was popular in the Wild West. Abrams didn’t recognize any of the men in the image, but he liked it and hung it on a wall in his home, which is where it was when an Airbnb guest joked that it might be a photo of Jesse James. He wasn’t too far off.

Using Google as his main research tool, Abrams attempted to find out if there was any famous face in that photo, and quickly realized that it was Pat Garrett. According to The New York Times:

Then, Mr. Abrams began to wonder about the man in the back with the prominent Adam’s apple. He eventually showed the tintype to Robert Stahl, a retired professor at Arizona State University and an expert on Billy the Kid.

Mr. Stahl encouraged Mr. Abrams to show the image to experts.

William Dunniway, a tintype expert, said the photograph was almost certainly taken between 1875 and 1880. “Everything matches: the plate, the clothing, the firearm,” he said in a phone interview. Mr. Dunniway worked with a forensics expert, Kent Gibson, to conclude that Billy the Kid and Mr. Garrett were indeed pictured.

Abrams, who is a criminal defense lawyer, described the process of investigating the history of the photo as akin to “taking on the biggest case you could ever imagine.” And while he’s thrilled that his epic flea market find could produce a major monetary windfall, don’t expect to see the image hitting the auction block any time soon. 

"Other people, they want to speculate from here to kingdom come,” Abrams told The New York Times of how much the photo, which he has not yet had valuated, might be worth. “I don’t know what it’s worth. I love history. It’s a privilege to have something like this.”

[h/t: The New York Times]

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