Questions and answers about alcohol
It is a funny thing but since I started this blog I get lots of messages around questions and answers about alcohol.
And while its not a complicated subject it has many twists and turns. Its the center of fun, enjoyment and fear.
It features some of the biggest drink brands on the planet and now thank goodness alcohol free brands are coming into their own.
I receive probably around 50 questions per week some related to liver health as I have personal experience with it and some about my review of alcohol free beers or wine. All of which are great to answer.
After all I set this blog up to be helpful to readers who for whatever reason want to live an alcohol free lifestyle. There are some questions and answers regarding alcohol that make me smile and some are a bit bizarre and I do my best to answer.
Although I always say people should do their own research depending on the question especially to do with health and alcohol. Always seek a medical professional if appropriate.
Someone said I should document them so here is my first go and I am sure there will be another post soon.
Is 18 the legal age for drinking everywhere?
- Actually you maybe surprised. Let’s take a snap shot of about 190 countries
- 61% have a drinking age of 18 or 19 years old. In the United States and 11 other countries the age is 21 years old, which is generally where the top end of the scale is.
- There are areas of India that have drinking ages around 25 and 30 years old.
- Alcohol is banned many places all of them where Muslim is the dominant religion. Although in some of them there is an exception if you are of a different domination or you are a tourist visiting. This can be restricted to certain hotels.
- Always respect the local laws and custom in order to show respect and keep you safe.
- Alcohol consumption varies with various religious views even within certain countries.
The UK guidance recommends no more than 14 units of alcohol a week. What’s a unit?
Think a standard glass of wine or a small beer so avoid getting into a habit where you think that large measures are one unit because they are not. In fact, part of the problem with alcohol intake is that even if you don’t want to drink a bottle of wine when drinking two large glasses you are almost there!
How long does it take the body to break down a unit of alcohol?
Your liver takes 1 hour to take out the alcohol from your body. The liver won’t be rushed and as I know from experience it’s worth looking after. I write about metabolism here.
It’s also good to remember the BAC blood alcohol level is different. This can be influenced by body shape, gender and how much you have eaten.
What year was the first beer sold in cans?
This was first documented in 1935 as it was a very rustic way of serving it and designed very often to help the working class leaving factories who needed to quench their thirst. I still think it tastes better out of a bottle though and this is especially true of alcohol free beers.
As for wine I don’t think we have quite got past boxed wine yet!
Is there a god of wine?
This question threw me as I had not even thought of it. But yes there is one apparently and there is one name that comes up. Dionysus or “Dionysus” who is seen as the god of fruitfulness and vegetation but also known for the god wine and ecstasy.
I don’t think they mean the drug ecstasy.
Why was gin created?
There are lots of different stories about gin but all the research says it started with a dutch chemist. It’s probably true that alcohol over the years has and is now still used in medicine especially around sterilization.
There is also a strong link to the phrase “dutch courage” so in the early Spanish great war gin was handed out in order to help soldiers go the extra mile in what must have been a terrifying experience.
However, nowadays dutch courage can be used for anything from going out on a date to going for an interview. It’s not helpful when there are other things you can do around self-esteem and confidence.
Is alcohol really a poison?
I am afraid it is, it is one of the things that gave me just 48 hours to live and I was only an average social wine drinker by all accounts. At the very least you can clarify it as a toxin which kills microorganisms.
You have to ask yourself the question on why we use it to stop food from rotting and also sterilize medical equipment. It kills things!
So take a dose used to sterilize and times it by 4 and that amount would be enough to take you well over the drink-driving limit and if you get alcohol poisoning it can kill us.
It is why people in this state need urgent medical help.
More Question and Answers about Alcohol
Is alcohol bad for the liver?
Yes totally liver disease as a result of alcohol is on the increase.
If you have spent any time in a liver ward it would probably put you off drinking for life. Alcohol can cause scarring of the liver which can reduce it functions over time resulting in liver failure if lifestyle is not modified.
Once cirrhosis happens, it by all accounts cannot be reversed however the stages before such as fatty liver can be helped with lifestyle changes.
However one word of comfort once you stop drinking it can at least stop further damage. It also does not mean you are a so called “alcoholic” it can just be social drinking combined with stress and genetic factors that can all play a part.
If in doubt and you have symptoms of liver disease, contact your medical professional urgently, don’t wait like I did !
Alcohol production dates back to when?
I don’t think anyone has nailed it properly but it’s even been found in Egyptian history, Romans Viking and the early Monks making wine are all documented.
In history, we can go through stages of being tea total to alcohol being banned so it has an amazing history.
In the UK I even live in an area where the sales of alcohol are prohibited by law. But health use remains at the heart which is why we still use it today. How ironic!
“Alcohol” is a word derived from which language?
It seems to be Arabic in nature although the original meaning related to makeup bizarrely. It refers to solving life problems which is often seen as true and it has been passed down through the ages.
Therefore, people talk about forgetting their worries when having a drink. Or “have a few you will be fine!”
Mocktails are now key to choice and alcohol drinking. What is The Manhattan cocktail named after?
Now there are a lot of urban myths around this but one story that seems to be true was that it was created at the Manhattan Club, a very chic private bar in New York.
It was done for a reception for Lady Randolph Churchill. There was an honorary presentation dinner and drink for the politician named Samuel J. Tilden.
It was not usual at this time for cocktails to be named by celebrities or well-known people where they first ordered that drink thus the name seems to stick as a brand after this and move into the mainstream.
I feel another blog post coming on. Kind of cool right?
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Is a “dry January” good for you?
Any goal setting is good but the consensus is that if you go back to drinking the same amount afterwards then no. Try and reduce your alcohol intake over time rather than in one go.
However, if it is the start of an overall lifestyle change it can be a good thing. It just does not make up for the rest of the year. You knew that really didn’t you!
What is binge drinking?
Binge drinking can be when you go out and try to get a week’s alcohol in one session. It can still cause major health issues as your body can only deal with so much alcohol at a time.
It is very often why people get alcohol poisoning on a night out. Anything over the usual limit is considered binge drinking.
Is alcohol free beer alcohol free?
Yes by the law of the land but even some zero beer may have a trace of alcohol depending on how it is brewed.
This happens with any fermentation including fruit. It was the reason why there is trace alcohol in some bread and some juices. In fact more than alcohol free beers and low alcohol beers.
Always check the label so personally I go for 0.0 only because of my liver. Some beers may have “not more than 0.05% “ which covers them legally. Once you go over 0.5% you are in the low alcohol range. It depends on their brewing process whether it has a trace or not.
A great way to check is to look for the ABV label, this means alcohol by volume and is useful for two main things. To check if what you are drinking is alcohol free or if you do drink the strength of the alcohol you are drinking.
Both are an important part of awareness and the people serving you may not know that.
Can you get brain fog from alcohol ?
Yes and I write about that here. Alcohol can not only damage organs like our liver it can also damage the neurons in the brain so it is the one of the reasons we get memory loss when drinking and can’t remember how we got home.
Over time this could become a real issue and yes brain fog is real.
Does alcohol help with stress?
So you fancy a quick one after a hard day at work and yes that might help short term. To be fair there is some evidence around that as well as the social interaction which can be good for our mental health.
However over time alcohol has the opposite effect as it affects your brain, body and dehydrates us which means our stress gets worse. There are lots of other activities that you can to help with stress and I write about them here
Some questions may surprise you
Some of the these questions are very left field but sometimes these are the best questions!
Can You catch the covid-19 with a bottle of corona beer?
I have actually been asked this on my blog. The answer is no and it’s up there with fake news I’m afraid. Unless you stand in a closed room with people drinking corona all with the virus then you are fine and that really has nothing to do with the drink it’s got everything to do with social activity.
I can’t believe you asked this! OK I can.
Is there alcohol in orange juice?
Yes there is sometimes more than you would get in a low alcohol beer so about 0.5%. The trace is so small it would easily be excreted really quickly.
However, I am also wary. It’s all down to the fermentation and is perfectly natural however if you are being totally alcohol free it’s worth checking. However, the bigger concern when people drink high levels of orange juice is the high sugar content.
There is alcohol in many of the foods we eat, albeit with trace levels. However, be aware of alcohol added to food. Two areas that jump out are desserts and sauce.
What is the most common symptom of a hangover?
Headache is classed as the main symptom as a result of hydration because remember we are made mostly of water!
Other signs could include feeling hungry, disorientation, mood swings including anxiety. Make sure you eat and drink plenty of water. Some people get the shakes and I write about that here, it certainly makes you think!
Why did Indian army officers add quinine to soda water?
And thus tonic water was created!
It’s true mosquitoes are not a fan of the potent quinine but its taste so bad a gin and tonic was created. Apparently it does repel them but don’t drink so much as its no excuse that you died of alcohol poisoning to prevent you getting malaria.
That won’t wash!
Which was the best and worst drinks advertisement of all time.
It actually starred a comic routine with actors Leonard Rossiter and Joan Collins where he always ended up chucking the drink over her. It was voted the funniest and most recalled drink ad of all time.
When in market research people were asked what the advertiser was they said “Martin” an arch viral and it was their sales that went through the roof.
The actual ad brand was Cinzano but the sales for Martini increased to an all time high! I’d hate to be in that meeting.
If my wine bottle says Spumante does it mean it’s alcohol free?
No it means Sparkling, sorry to disappoint you though.
Which Lager was known as the wife beater?
It was the brand Stella Artois and it was seen as such as having such a high alcohol level in terms of content it was blamed for a high rise in domestic violence when it came out.
It is slowly getting rid of the image and recently launched an alcohol free version which I reviewed here.
What is the most lethal drink ever made containing alcohol?
It was called Absinthe as it was so high in alcohol said everyone. Actually it was the ingredients that were dangerous and could make you mad it was then claimed.
It still has a dangerous reputation but it’s not the most lethal and it lethal depends on the alcohol level of any drink.
So a bit of an urban myth really.
However, in certain circumstances high levels of alcohol can save you especially from freezing to death in cold water as it has antifreeze properties. There is the story of the chef aboard the Titanic who lived to tell the tale.
It is alleged that he was so scared he got tanked up with alcohol before going in the cold water of the Atlantic. It saved him and went on to save others !
Tell Me your Questions and Answers about alcohol
Do you have any other questions and answers about alcohol that you would like to read about? Add a comment about them below and I will make sure they are included next time. I am sure that there are plenty out there and I always respond to every message.
They also maybe about alcohol free or about full on alcohol drinks. It’s always nice to chat to you.