A study shows that the taste of beer excites the brain and stimulates the desire for more. As if we didn’t all know that already. This excitement did not happen with water or sports drinks.
But the real news from this study is that this reaction is stronger in those with a family history of alcoholism – which is something scientists did not know. This study only used beer; they extrapolated that it would hold for other alcoholic drinks.
Another study shows that middle-age people who drink in moderation have a better “quality of life” than those who either abstain, or drink more than 14 drinks a week (more than three a day for women and four a day for me). Subjects in this study were middle-aged, so this may not hold for older or younger folks. The study shows that when these subjects stopped drinking, their quality of life went down – but it did not take into account other factors, such as illness or decreased social activity, that led to the subject’s abstinence.
Yet another study shows that people drink alcohol at a slower pace when they drink from a straight glass rather than a curvy glass. Apparently, people are not good at judging how much is left in the glass when the glass is curvy. This makes it harder to pace their drinking.
You may note that the links to these studies are to reports from British sources, which could affect the outcomes. Drinking in English pubs is a social activity, which would affect quality of life differently than drinking at home alone.
So – to drink or not to drink? And if drinking, how much?
It all depends. On your preference, your family history, your health… and, it turns out, the shape of your glasses.
If you do drink, have a designated driver.
Or the Zombie Army will come for you.