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Author Topic: Alcohol is alcohol, isn't it?  (Read 8148 times)

Offline Dennis

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Alcohol is alcohol, isn't it?
« on: 08/01/2006 23:58:21 »
With regard to drinking alcoholic drinks, we've all heard people say that by drinking beer and hard liquor in the same night one's hangover will be magnified greatly more than it would be if they were to not "combine" the different types of alcoholic beverages.

I've always maintained however, that this was indeed nothing more than a wives tale and that the chemical that gets us drunk is ethanol, which is present in wine, beer, whiskey, etc. The amount of ethanol in each beverage is the only variable between the different boozes.

Am I way off base here, or are there different types of alcohol in each of these beverages that when combined, yield an ill effect?
Dennis W.
Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.


 

another_someone

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Re: Alcohol is alcohol, isn't it?
« Reply #1 on: 09/01/2006 01:59:29 »
All alcohol (in beverages) is ethanol.  What I don't know is what the effect of other components within the beverage, some of which give it flavour, might do to the way the human body processes the ethanol.
 

Offline daveshorts

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Re: Alcohol is alcohol, isn't it?
« Reply #2 on: 09/01/2006 13:23:20 »
Another effect is that a lot of the hang over is actually dehydration so how much water is in the drink and how much of a diuretic (encouraging you to pee) it is can have a big effect.

The other effect that could be an issue is that if you just drink straight spirits they are absorbed relatively slowly as it takes a while for them to dilute, however if you then drink something with a load of water in it like beer the spirits will dilute quickly and give you a double whammy of alcohol from both the spirits and the beer. If I remember my discussions with medics correctly there are two pathways to break down ethanol one fast and one slow and I think the fast one does more damage, so if you have a sudden rush of alcohol to the system it may cause more damage and hence more of a hangover in the morning.

I am a physacist so may be talking rubbish, but it kind of makes sense
 

Offline wim

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Re: Alcohol is alcohol, isn't it?
« Reply #3 on: 10/01/2006 16:43:06 »
right alcohol is alcohol, butt all those different components in those drinks do have an effect i think. A previous reply said something about slow and fast absorbtion of the alcohol. I believe this because when before drinking you eat something greasy it will absorb slower(the alcohol) so I suppose the components in the drink will also have there influences. But it's simple to much alcohol gives a hangover, mixing or not!
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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Re: Alcohol is alcohol, isn't it?
« Reply #4 on: 10/01/2006 17:00:56 »
Don't forget that fizzy drinks get alcohol into your system quicker. That's why scotch & lemonade will get you drunk quicker than neat scotch. It could be that the alcohol in the spirits piggy-backs on the CO2 in the beer/lager and gets into your system that much quicker.
I'm not sure how the newer nitrogen-based gas systems (the ones that cause "smooth" ales) would affect that.
 

Offline Shushma

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Alcohol is alcohol, isn't it?
« Reply #5 on: 14/08/2008 04:51:49 »
Several investigations have found a relation between excessive alcohol abuse and cancer of the mouth, throat and esophagus, especially with drinkers who also smoke. Heavy drinkers also run a higher risk of contracting cancer of the liver and the large intestine. Women who drink a lot have a higher risk of breast cancer.
--------------
Cindy

newbielink:http://www.alcoholismtreatment.info [nonactive]
 

Offline Bored chemist

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Alcohol is alcohol, isn't it?
« Reply #6 on: 14/08/2008 19:26:11 »

A bit of necromancy here I see. Never mind.

I am not exactly tea total- in fact you might say  I drink quite a bit. I never have liked beer so I can tell you all about the hangovers from wine, cider and spirits. As far as I have ever been able to judge it's the total alcohol that has the effect. The stuff can get slowed down getting into your bloodstream if you drink straight spirits and it can be speeded up with fizzy drinks but, to a great extent it's the alcohol that does the job.
Most of the differences between drinks (like gin making people morose) can be explained away as psychosomatic effetcts.

I have also heard people claim that it's the impurities in the alcohol- the so called congeners, that give you the hangover. Well, either someone takes the trouble to put these congeners into laboratory grade alcohol, or that story is false. You can get hungover on spectroscopic grade, un-denatured ethanol. (diluted in orange juice by the way- don't bother trying to drink it straight. It's not big, and it's not clever).
 

Offline Don_1

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Alcohol is alcohol, isn't it?
« Reply #7 on: 08/09/2008 15:49:56 »
I have heard that if you drink enough alcohol free beer you can still get a hangover.

That stuff must be for real masochists!!!
 

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Alcohol is alcohol, isn't it?
« Reply #7 on: 08/09/2008 15:49:56 »

 

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