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Myths and reality

Drinking quickly results in higher amounts of alcohol in my system than drinking slowly

True

If someone drinks alcohol quickly, he will suffer greater consequences because alcohol is consumed more quickly than it can be excreted by the body. If you drink quickly, alcohol will start flooding the brain. Depending on how quickly you drink, alcohol may affect the brainstem and interfere in the vital functions of the body. A young person or someone who is not used to drinking alcohol may feel it more intensely if he has too many drinks at once.

Your body’s ability to process alcohol depends on your age, weight and sex. Your body breaks down alcohol at a rate of one unit of alcohol per hour and there is no way you can speed up this process

Never get involved in a tolerance or speed competition because it may turn out fatal.

Drinking on a full stomach means I will get less drunk

True

Eating before or while drinking is a good idea. Food slows down the rate at which the alcohol is absorbed, giving your body more time to excrete it and increases the breakdown of alcohol in the stomach.
The best advice is to eat before or while drinking, and to limit your consumption according to the guidelines on responsible drinking.

Alcohol is not fattening

Myth

Dry wines, ciders, pure spirits and beers are fat free, but contain calories.
Half a litre of beer has approximately 130 calories, the same as a 150ml glass of dry wine, less than an apple juice. It is important to include the consumption of alcohol as part of a balanced diet and lifestyle that is plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables and of course exercise. 
If you are careful with your diet, remember that all alcoholic beverages contain calories. They can also make you feel hungry. Drinking alcohol stimulates the appetite and reduces your self-control, so you're more likely to binge eat. Be careful with the cocktails if you’re watching your weight. Fortified or dessert wines contain many more calories and sugar.

Alcohol affects everyone in the same way

Myth

 
Your size, weight, metabolism, and sex as well as how and when you drink will alter the way alcohol affects you.
When you drink on an empty stomach or drink fast, you have higher alcohol levels in your blood and these will also be affected by your size weight, health and age. If you are very tired, ill or stressed your reaction to alcohol may be affected.
Alcohol is a depressant and stresses the body systems and it may affect you more when you are tired or run down.


If I drink coffee or have a cold shower I will sober up and will not have a hangover

Myth

Nothing can speed up the breakdown of alcohol in your blood except time and the consumption of water. Even one or two drinks will affect your coordination, judgement and reaction, so plan how you will return home before you go out or define a designated driver. Never be tempted to drink and drivebecause you risk losing your driving license, your job or, even worse, your physical integrity.

A hangover can't be cured, although some people believe that a strong coffee, a cold shower or fizzy drinks can help. In fact, time is the only cure allowing the liver to continue its function in excreting the alcohol from your system, assisted by the consumption of water.

Symptoms of a hangover include the feeling of thirst, sickness, tiredness and headache, as well as the strong sensitivity to noise and bright light. These effects are caused by alcohol acting as a diuretic. This means that alcohol makes the body lose too much water, causing dehydration. Alcohol also irritates the internal part of the stomach, leading to indigestion, nausea and dehydration.
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