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Author Topic: Mixing alcohols is bad....why ?  (Read 96470 times)

Offline neilep

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Mixing alcohols is bad....why ?
« on: 28/10/2004 21:15:08 »
Hi Everybody.

Tea-Totaller neil here...being a non alcy I've often wondered why it's so bad to mix alcoholic drinks.....there is a drink over here in the UK called a 'Snakebite ?'..(not too sure...I think that's what it's called)...and I think it's a combination of cider and lager and maybe something else too..(burp...shnazzle...hic !!)...annywaysh..az I woz shayin...(coffee mode)...err..I've been told that you can't actually order it in a pub, though you could of course (hic)...buy the two and mix them...(burp)...my qeushtion iz, what ish going on ? (coffee mode) why does mixing two alcoholic drinks create a dangerous cocktail ?....

(burp)..I really really lovsh you, you're my beshtest friend( hic) ever..

Thanks

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Offline roberth

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Re: Mixing alcohols is bad....why ?
« Reply #1 on: 29/10/2004 00:47:04 »
Geez, Neil. For a tea-totaller you type good drunken talk. Personally, I've never had a problem mixing drinks, though sometimes it's better if they're not in the same glass. One of my old favourites, a depth charge. Drink a mouthful from your schooner of beer and drop in a 50 ml glass of Drambuie (glass and all). The flavours mix as you drink. Wash hands, rinse and repeat until the floor becomes your friend.
 

Offline Ylide

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Re: Mixing alcohols is bad....why ?
« Reply #2 on: 29/10/2004 08:46:32 »
This sorta answers that:

http://www.sciam.com/askexpert_question.cfm?articleID=0001A537-8D0E-1E5F-A98A809EC5880105



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Offline DrN

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Re: Mixing alcohols is bad....why ?
« Reply #3 on: 29/10/2004 13:47:58 »
perhaps when you mix drinks you get different sorts of 'congeners' that act differently and so cause an even greater effect than if you stuck to just one type of congener?
 

Offline MooseHole

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Re: Mixing alcohols is bad....why ?
« Reply #4 on: 29/10/2004 16:08:39 »
There's nothing inherently wrong with mixing different alcoholic drinks.  The problem is that many beginners get drunk on light stuff like beer or wine coolers or something.  When this runs out, if they're already drunk, they'll search for other sources of alcohol.  Sometimes the only thing available is something nasty tasting like gin or whiskey.  However, to those who are already drunk, nasty tasting is not a problem.  So they drink a whole bunch of it and die, or get a hangover maybe.
 

Offline chris

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Re: Mixing alcohols is bad....why ?
« Reply #5 on: 30/10/2004 11:37:55 »
We get drunk due to the effects of alcohol. The more alcohol that you take in, the more drunk you become. The combination makes little difference to the degree of inebriation. People who mix drinks are much more likely to drink excessively and become totally smashed (because they are in party mode) than people who are enjoying a bottle of wine with their dinner. In other words, people who mix drinks just end up drinking more in total. Food, and what is already in your stomach, makes a much bigger difference to your degree of drunkeness.

Alcohol is one of the few agents (alongside aspirin) which is absorbed directly from the stomach, but it is much more efficiently absorbed from the intestine. Therefore, the faster you get alcohol into your intestines, the faster you get drunk. The factor that determines how quickly alcohol enters the intestine is gastric empyting, and that's controlled by what is already in your stomach. A hearty meal delays gastric emptying because food is 'held-back' until it has been sufficiently digested for the small intestine to deal with it. If you therefore drink on a full stomach you get drunk much less rapidly than if you drink on an empty stomach - because the stomach lets fluids pass straight on into the small intestines.

Drinking on an empty stomach means that a deluge of alcohol hits the highly efficient absorption system in the small bowel all at once, saturates the liver's ability to deal with it, and rapidly pushes up blood, and brain, alcohol levels, making you drunk.

The products of digestion are not absorbed straight into the bloodstream - because this would lead to harmful substances (like alcohol, or high levels of sugar) going straight into circulation. Instead everything that is absorbed from the intestine is first funnelled through the liver so that the products of digestion can be detoxified before they enter the bloodstream proper.

This is known as first pass metabolism and can be a real nuisance for some orally-active drugs because the liver breaks them down before they have a chance to work (this is why the French and Italians are so fond of suppositaries, and why beer-enemas make you so drunk, because, unlike the rest of the gut which sends its venous blood to the liver, veins from the rectum drain straight into the peripheral circulation, bypassing the liver so that anything in that blood goes straight into the bloodstream).

Conversely, when you drink on a full stomach the absorption of alcohol occurs much more slowly (because gastric emptying is delayed) and much of what gets absorbed is dealt with by the liver by first-pass metabolism, so very little gets into the systemic circulation (and hence the brain).

Whether you eat or not before a binge is therefore a much more powerful predictor of your capacity than how many drinks you mix.

Chris

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Offline neilep

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Re: Mixing alcohols is bad....why ?
« Reply #6 on: 31/10/2004 01:30:43 »
Fascinating...really !....I have always thought (in my childlike innocence), that mixing alcohic drinks made for a more potent concoction.Is there any truth at all ,in that one cannot order a 'snakebite' in a pub ?......

So, it's a sociological manifestation then,...that, because a drink is mixed, it's more likely that the consumer is in a 'party mood' and therefore will most probably consume more alcohol.

I have really missed out haven't I ?

Roberth: I have often seen people drink ,what must be you call, a 'depth charge'....I've wondered, is there really a kind of instant 'hit' as you swallow a swig of a drink ?.....I presume that's why some drinks are called a 'stiff drink'...and 'shots'?.......is that instant hit, a hit of potent flavour and taste, or a hit of inebriation ? or a combination of the two ?

Also this congener thing is weird, how just the colour of an alcohol ,not strength, has an effect on the hangover process.

I just haven't lived !!...I've completely missed out on a cultural activity that is predominant.

Thanks to all for your incisive contributions.


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Offline roberth

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Re: Mixing alcohols is bad....why ?
« Reply #7 on: 01/11/2004 23:08:56 »
Personally, I think it's for the flavour and taste. The drunk bit is a bonus, but it's a condition I try to avoid. I always eat prior to drinking.
Mixing drinks in itself will not get you any drunker if the alcohol content of what you consume is the same for all drinks and you drink at the same speed. Normally, when you move from beer to a top shelf drink, you are going from a 5% alcohol drink to a 40% alcohol content that you dilute with a mixer and drink faster than the beer.
 

Offline tweener

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Re: Mixing alcohols is bad....why ?
« Reply #8 on: 02/11/2004 03:45:59 »
It seems to me that some of the stuff that comes along with the alcohol would have some effects too, and that mixing them might cause some strange reactions.  Think about what is in wine other than alcohol.  A pretty disgusting mess really.  Same for beer.  Liquor has more alcohol and thus less of everything else, but probably more disgusting.  And then the mixers aren't exactly innocent either.....

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Offline Fearsome Anna

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Re: Mixing alcohols is bad....why ?
« Reply #9 on: 02/11/2004 04:54:45 »
I'd say it happens because of the psychological attitude that comes from mixing drinks. Psychology has a powerful effect on our physical behavior - think "placebo effect" - and the power of suggestion on thr brain is potent. For instance, there was a study done (I can find references if you want) where people in a social situation were told that they were drinking something with alcohol in it. The more they drank, the more drunk they became. Imagine their surprise when they found out that there was no alchol in it whatsoever!

The same goes for mixing drinks. Normally, mixed-alcohol drinks are reserved for social situations where getting drunk is, if not expected, at least not surprising. Your brain seems to be more susceptible to alcohol than if you were, for instance, drinking wine with dinner while meeting your girlfriend's parents. Nothing screams "Sobriety, dammit!" like that potentially explosive situation.

That said, we have a wonderful drink here in the US called - with the usual amount of US tact....sorry to any Irish brethren! - an Irish Car Bomb. It amounts to a pint of Guinness, an a double shot glass filled with half Bailey's and half Jameson's. Hold glass in right hand, drop in shot glass with left hand. Drink the delicious chocolate milk taste before it curdles. Repeat as now it seems like a great idea until you end up praying to the porcelain gods the next morning. Assuming you're still alive, of course!

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Offline DrN

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Re: Mixing alcohols is bad....why ?
« Reply #10 on: 03/11/2004 12:20:48 »
I think this calls for a scientific experiment. anyone up for it??!!! I'm usually the driver, so it might be difficult for me to volunteer for this one. sorry!
 

Offline neilep

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Re: Mixing alcohols is bad....why ?
« Reply #11 on: 03/11/2004 12:39:55 »
I'll drive :-)....sounds like a great idea.......but can I ask then.....do people drink alcoholic drinks for the effect of the alcohol ?..the taste ?...both ?....does alcohol have a taste of itself ?..and does it have an effect on the taste of the drink ?, I know there are alcohol free wines and beers...are they just as good ?...I presume not eh ?......please forgive my questions but I do find the subject quite interesting from a tea-totallers perspective.

By the way...I don't drink, not out of choice...I just don't like the taste !!!...I suppose if pushed I could knock back a cider...

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Offline chris

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Re: Mixing alcohols is bad....why ?
« Reply #12 on: 03/11/2004 15:12:01 »
Neil - why don't you have a drink so that you know what it's like, just in the name of science and personal curiosity ? There's no obligation to carry on drinking you know !

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Offline DrN

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Re: Mixing alcohols is bad....why ?
« Reply #13 on: 03/11/2004 16:10:20 »
I expect people drink for the effect of the alcohol, otherwise we'd all be happy with a cup of tea or glass of lemonade. personally I don't drink any alcohol that i don't like, so stick with lager and white wine (not together!)
I've never slurped the ethanol from the bottle in the lab, but it does have a smell, so i suspect it also has a taste of its own! people say the reason you can get drunk quick on vodka mixes is because you can't taste it, but I certainly can! I think you'd have to be pretty pissed not to taste it! I know thats not pure ethanol, but its getting there.
 

Offline neilep

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Re: Mixing alcohols is bad....why ?
« Reply #14 on: 03/11/2004 16:28:07 »
quote:
Originally posted by chris

Neil - why don't you have a drink so that you know what it's like, just in the name of science and personal curiosity ? There's no obligation to carry on drinking you know !

"I never forget a face, but in your case I'll make an exception"
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Chris....when I was a lot younger (school age)...I got invited to parties and it was at those parties that I used to ingest quite a large quantity of Babycham....at the time it was the only thing I could just about barely tolerate..and because I could just barely tolerate it I used to drink it quickly ( to get it over and done with) and therefore, I got totally rat-arsed !!.......this only happened maybe once a year.....and the inevtible conclusion to the evening would find my head down the loo and the world spinning round..


If I happen to find myself in a pub or in a restaurant....I will often take a sip of what everybody is drinking (for empirical study...really), just to see if my tastebuds have changed........I still to this day can not understand the joy in the flavour of a beer, ale, lager, what ever !!...but though I feel my taste buds are not singing the 'alcohol ' tune I do appreciate that I'm in a minority......I just don't like the taste...
There is ONE possible exception....and that is a drink I discovered on an 18-33 holiday in Majorca quite a few years ago before wifey....and to me it was a revelation......you take a tall glass....half chocolate milk and half brandy......somehow, the chocolate milk really camouflages the brandy very well........being the only serious tipple that I can confess to liking...I have decided that it's a hobby I shall not pursue.....just as well really.... as I'm not a pub person.....in fact I probably border on the anti social:D

I love cooking with wine though.....and if there was a sweet red wine out there that I could drink a glass of every day then I would be happy (cos it's good for me yes ?)...it would have to be sweet though....*sigh* my quest continues.

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« Last Edit: 03/11/2004 16:31:51 by neilep »
 

Offline neilep

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Re: Mixing alcohols is bad....why ?
« Reply #15 on: 03/11/2004 16:30:06 »
quote:
Originally posted by fishytails

I expect people drink for the effect of the alcohol, otherwise we'd all be happy with a cup of tea or glass of lemonade. personally I don't drink any alcohol that i don't like, so stick with lager and white wine (not together!)
I've never slurped the ethanol from the bottle in the lab, but it does have a smell, so i suspect it also has a taste of its own! people say the reason you can get drunk quick on vodka mixes is because you can't taste it, but I certainly can! I think you'd have to be pretty pissed not to taste it! I know thats not pure ethanol, but its getting there.



So, if you just wanted one drink, or just had time for one.....does that get you merry enough ?...thanks Lindsay

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Offline Ultima

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Re: Mixing alcohols is bad....why ?
« Reply #16 on: 04/11/2004 13:10:08 »
Good 'ol Snakebite-Black.... thats stuff is rank! Cider, Lager and blackcurrent squash!!

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Offline DrN

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Re: Mixing alcohols is bad....why ?
« Reply #17 on: 05/11/2004 16:42:13 »
quote:
So, if you just wanted one drink, or just had time for one.....does that get you merry enough ?...


I guess that depend on how well you take your alcohol. I don't drink much, so one pint would be enough to make me mildly merry. if you drink every day then you're going to be more resistant, so it might take a lot more.

thats one thing I've never really worked out about alcoholics, because they drink so much are they resistant to the inebriating effects? although obviously the damage is still being done to the body. Or are they actually half cut all the time?
 

Offline tweener

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Re: Mixing alcohols is bad....why ?
« Reply #18 on: 06/11/2004 01:05:45 »
They're half cut (or more) most of the time.

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Offline neilep

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Re: Mixing alcohols is bad....why ?
« Reply #19 on: 06/11/2004 02:54:07 »
So...Upon Chris's recommendation and (burp ! hic !)..ashz i woz zayin...in the grand tradishun ov  (burp) empeereekal stud-dee (coffee mode !) I have spent the whole (hic !) night getting (burp !!...shlobber !!..shnazzle !!..room spinning !!...hic !!)................. totally plastered !!!..........and all... (hic !) ....I can say iz.................... "bluuurrrrrrryyeeeuuccchhhhh !!!!!!.....................oh..err !!"........(hic !)
......................................"urgghhhhh !!....bwoooooarrrghhhh !!".....................(hic !)............the sound of diced carrot poured into a bucket !!.......collapse passes out !!....(Slump Mode.)








(hic !)

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Re: Mixing alcohols is bad....why ?
« Reply #19 on: 06/11/2004 02:54:07 »

 

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