I’ve been doing Dryathlon this month, so I’ve had nowt to drink in January. (If you want to sponsor me, you can do here. I still have to reach my target.) So apart from raising money for Cancer Research UK, what other benefits does not drinking have? Charlotte sent me this, which seems quite interesting. It claims that my liver, heart and digestive system will be happier, and that my blood glucose levels will be improved. Now all of that is well and good, but I’m not sure I really have problems with all that. I’m not that fat the diabetes and cardiovascular problems should effect me, and I don’t think I drink enough to be really killing my liver.
But now it’s time to get back on the booze, so here’s some science to justify drinking a beer with breakfast!
Post-football booze ups are beneficial
Of course they are*! Everyone knows how good a pint is after sport. But it’s possible that it may actually make a good alternative to sports drinks after playing. These drinks are generally full of sugar and electrolytes (well salt) to replace everything you have used up carrying out exercise. It’s also a fair amount of fluid to help and all. Beer is chocked full of liquid and calories so it only makes sense that it should work yeah?
Well not exactly. The alcohol in beer is a diuretic, meaning you urinate more. So that whole fluid uptake ain’t great. And this comes at the cost of electrolytes (sodium really), so low-alcohol beer might be better, and that’s what that study shows. As long as there is added sodium to the beer, it works pretty well.
So, not exactly great news, but still kinda promising.
Booze-ups in general are good
You probably saw this been bandied around your various social networks. Men need nights out with the lads. Male barbary macaques get stressed around their family and females, but with other males they are more relaxed.
You may notice this doesn’t even include alcohol, so maybe that’s not the important part. And there’s nowt about women, so never mind.
Beer is a great treatment for burns
So, this guy is great. After falling into a garden fire, and burning 40% of his body, he stayed at home and drank 6 cans of San Miguel, because, you know, the hospital might have been shut. Burns of over 20% require immediate fluid resuscitation, and for this guy beer did the trick. He recovery was “unremarkable.”
But considering he drank a whole bunch of beer, and as I mentioned above that alcohol is not the best for rehydration, there must be some sort of magic in San Miguel*. The paper even states that “‘San Miguel’ (St Michael) is the patron saint of paramedics” as a potential reason for the benefits.
Alcohol makes you skinny
Well, no. Sorry that title is crazy misleading. It depends on how you drink. Drinking a single drink every day, or 3-7 days a week really, associates with a lower BMI, whereas drinking it all in one go is linked to an increased BMI.
Obviously BMI is a bit sketchy, and it seems that everyone in that paper is overweight regardless. By English standards anyway, by American they’re fine, and by Indian they are obese as owt!
Alcohol improves sexual ability
So whiskey dick is a bunch of nonsense hey?
Well, no. Totally no. But a small to moderate amount of alcohol actually prevents against erectile dysfunction. Chew et al. found that those who didn’t drink were more likely to suffer than those who do imbibe; even those who stated that they binge drink.
They also found out that erectile dysfunction increased in ex-drinkers, so never give it up I guess*?
*These statements may be lies.
I know this should probably be higher up, but please don’t take this too seriously. Alcohol is dangerous, and has a lot of bad side effects. Drinking non-stop will not turn you into a thin, non-flammable athlete with a rocket in your pocket.
Also correlation does not equal causation. Don’t tell me it does! Without a mechanism, it could be all nonsense, right?
Today’s quote is from Charles Bukowski, because how could it not really?