Alcohol can have an immediate impact on our physical health — you know, “beer before liquor, never been sicker” — but what about our emotions?
Sure, we all have that friend who gets way too chatty after a few drinks, but do those emotions depend differ on the types of alcohol we drink? Yes, according to a new study from the Public Health Wales NHS Trust.
For the study, published in the journal BMJ Open, the conducted an online survey of anonymous people between 18 and 34 years old from 21 different countries who had consumed alcohol in the previous year. The questions focused on the type of alcohol the respondents imbibed in during that time.
The results? Most people — about 53 percent — said that kicking back with a glass of red wine or a few beers helped them feel relaxed.
Just over 59 percent of those surveyed said they felt most confident after drinking spirits, followed by energy (at 58 percent) and sexiness (just over 42 percent). However, those same spirits were more likely to cause feelings of sadness, aggression and illness.
Overall, women were more likely to feel emotional while drinking, while men landed more on the aggressive end.
Where you drink can influence emotions, too
Taking a shot of vodka or sipping a glass of wine can have a much different effect on our emotions depending on where we’re drinking. The researchers found that drinking at home was more likely to create a relaxing or tired feeling, but those who indulged in a few drinks while out were more likely to experience other emotions (like confidence, sexiness and aggression).
The information is important, researchers say, because people should have an understanding of how drinking makes them feel before choosing their drinks.
“From a public health perspective a lot of the time we have focused on issues around cancer, heart disease and liver disease – but an important aspect is the balance of emotional outcomes that people are getting from alcohol,” Mark Bellis, co-author of the research from Public Health Wales NHS Trust, told the Guardian.
Moral of the story: Maybe skip the spirits that’ll make you feel a little more confident or aggressive during the holidays — especially if you’re afraid of telling your Uncle Roy what you really think about his political views.