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Can Different Types of Alcohol Affect My Body Differently?

Can Different Types of Alcohol Affect My Body Differently?

Any experienced drinker knows that no two nights of drinking lead to an identical morning after. Some mornings it may feel like you simply didn’t log enough sleep, while others like a truck ran over your head… twice. But do you know why? Modern science claims that “alcohol is alcohol,” yet many who drink swear different alcoholic beverages cause significantly different reactions in their mental and physical state. The truth, as always, is not black and white.  While the way alcohol is metabolized in the body is consistent no matter what you are drinking, different people drinking the same thing may react differently and the same people drinking different things may also react differently. So what gives?  The way you feel after drinking depends on a variety of factors, including who you are, what you drink and how you drink it.

First, it is important to note that the body does technically metabolize all alcohol the same way. To put it simply, once a drink enters the stomach it will be carried by blood vessels to the blood stream. There, about 20% of the alcohol is absorbed while the remaining 80% is absorbed through the small intestine. Once there, the alcohol will enter the blood stream through the small intestine walls and then be metabolized by the liver. On average, the liver can process one ounce of liquor per hour. When you consume alcohol at a faster rate, your system becomes saturated and the additional alcohol will accumulate in your blood stream until it can become metabolized. This is where feeling drunk begins.

Your body metabolizes all alcohol this way, from a pint of beer to a glass of wine to a shot of vodka. So what leads to different outcomes? First of all, women metabolize alcohol at a different rate than men. This has been attributed to women having less body water, so the percentage of alcohol entering their blood stream is a higher, leading them to become drunk more quickly. Additionally, things like body weight, medications and how much food you’ve eaten that day can all affect how quickly you become intoxicated by affecting the alcohol absorption in the stomach.  This is why smaller women tend may be considered “lightweights” and why you should always eat dinner before drinking.

It may not be a surprise to you that a cheerleader becomes drunk more quickly than a husky football player, but the content of a drink and your mindset during drinking can affect your degree of intoxication as well. If you’re drinking a mixed drink, it likely includes soda or fruit juice. Soda, or any other carbonated beverage, speeds up the absorption of alcohol into the bloodstream and will leave you feeling drunker faster. Not only that, the caffeine present in soda will keep you alert, meaning you may not realize how significantly the alcohol is affecting you until you are already too drunk. Likewise, using a fruit juice as a mixer masks the taste of alcohol due to the acidity and sugar. Not being able to taste the alcohol in a drink will lead to drinking faster which leads to – you guessed it – becoming drunk more quickly than if you were drinking, say, a vodka on the rocks where you can taste how strong it is.

Perhaps you have heard someone claim “tequila makes me crazy” or “whiskey makes me mean.” When considering that all alcohol is metabolized the same way, it might lead you to believe that these differences aren’t possible. If you took two people of identical gender, height and weight and gave one an ounce of whiskey and one an ounce of tequila and asked them to drink at the same rate, they would likely have identical reactions. However, in reality this is not how people drink.

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Atlanta Fall Festivities 2013

Atlanta Fall Festivities 2013

Autumn is here and once again Atlanta is the place to be for fun, parties and music! Fall heralds the infamous Oktoberfest - a salute to copious amounts Bavarian food and beer – followed by ghoulish parties as we celebrate Halloween – so get your costumes ready and head to Atlanta!

Atlanta’s festivities include first-class restaurants, clubs, bars and lounges just waiting for you to investigate and explore. So whatever you are looking for – fine food, dancing the night away or just relaxing with friends – Atlanta is a must see!

There is no better place to celebrate this time of the year – so let’s take a look at some of Atlanta’s fall festivities and get ready for some fun!

Oktoberfest Beer and Arts Festival

The official opening ceremony of the Oktoberfest is in the Schottenhamel beer tent where at noon the major will officially tap the first keg of the festival which lasts from September 21st to October 13th. Beer is served from 10am on weekdays and 9am on weekends, closing at 10.30pm. Once the tents are full – entry is stopped - so make sure you get there early and let the fun begin!

Stone Mountain Village

If you love to drink – then you need to grab a group of friends and head to Stone Mountain Village, 15 miles east of Atlanta on Saturday and Sunday, 12th-13th October 2013. Open from 12 to 6 pm over the weekend, this annual festival showcases the talents of around 50+ artists (they have a HUGE market!) and it is FREE.

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