Medicine

From Wild to Mild: How Different Types of Alcohol Affect Your Mood

From Wild to Mild: How Different Types of Alcohol Affect Your Mood

The authors, writing in the BMJ Open journal, said: 'Understanding emotions associated with alcohol consumption is imperative to addressing alcohol misuse, providing insight into what emotions influence drink choice between different groups in the population'.

Researchers from Public Health Wales NHS Trust in Cardiff, Wales used data gathered from the Global Drug Survey (GDS), the world's largest online survey of legal and illicit drug and alcohol use among adults. People ages 18 to 24 and those who drank heavily also reported more emotions, both positive and negative, after consuming alcohol.

But 59 per cent of spirit drinkers reported feelings of confidence compared to 45 per cent of beer drinkers and just over a quarter of red or white wine drinkers.

Their answers showed that they attributed different emotions - energised, relaxed, sexy, confident and exhausted, aggressive, ill, restless, and tearful - to different types of alcohol.

Research involving 30,000 people has found drinkers have significantly different emotional responses to different alcoholic drinks.

Yet spirits appeared to make drinkers feel more "energised" than other drinks, with more than half of drinkers reporting energy boosts.

"For centuries, the history of rum, gin, vodka and other spirits has been laced with violence", co-author Mark Bellis wrote.

Almost one third of spirit drinkers associated their tipple with feelings of aggression compared with around 2.5 per cent of red wine drinkers. The researchers also found that spirits were associated with more positive emotions than beer or wine, including feelings of energy, confidence and sexiness. They were most likely bring up negative feelings, such as aggression (in 30% of people), restlessness (28%) and tearfulness (22%).

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More than half of respondents associated spirits with feeling energized and confident and 42 per cent of drinkers associated them with feeling sexy.

This compares to around a quarter of red or white wine drinkers and 19 per cent of beer drinkers. Spirits, however, were the least likely to be associated with relaxation, according to the study.

This compared to about 2.5 per cent of red or white wine drinkers and seven per cent of beer drinkers.

The study, led by experts at Bangor University and King's College London, found red wine was likely to make people feel sexy and relaxed - but also exhausted and tearful.

The survey also looked at how responses differed based on country of origin, educational attainment, age, gender and level of alcohol dependency. The participants were from 21 countries and had drunk each of the specified types of alcohol within the past year, according to the study.

'They may also be consumed in different social occasions so people may be drinking them deliberately to feel the drunken effect quickly while other types of drink are more likely to be consumed slowly or with food.

But aggression wasn't the only emotion associated with sipping spirts. Nearly 53% of people said they felt relaxed after drinking wine, and nearly 50% did after having beer.


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