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Alcohol affects women more than men

Damn you, nature

By Sophia Ann French  March 31st, 2015

The myth: Hair of the Dog, which suggests that the best cure for veisalgia (the medical term for hangover), is to drink more.
Debunked: Unless you’re an alcoholic, it won’t work. According to the National Health Service (NHS), UK, getting tipsy doesn’t cure a hangover; it merely delays the symptoms and might actually lead to another hangover. The NHS recommends healthier options for reclaiming sobriety: drink bland liquids (water, soda) that are easy on the system, eat sugary foods and pop over-the-counter painkillers to ease muscle pain or headaches.

The myth: Lining your stomach with food before drinking reduces the chances of getting drunk.
Debunked: Taking a swig on a full stomach delays alcohol absorption, but it doesn’t prevent inebriation. It is however, a good idea to eat (food rich in protein and carbohydrates) before you drink anyway – when you line your stomach and slow down the absorption of booze, the body has less amounts of acetaldehyde (the toxic chemical alcohol is converted to) to deal with, and this means less painful hangovers.

The myth: Booze kills brain cells.
Affirmed: The American author, Sara Stein, explained it simply in The Body Book (Workman, 1992): ‘Alcohol is downright poison. Liver cells attempt to detoxify it, but many are killed in the process. Brain cells are killed too, and with them intelligence. Alcoholics become sick, and they become stupid.’ Cheers!

The myth: Alcohol affects women more than men.
Affirmed: Sadly, we are more vulnerable to its effects, we get blotto faster and have worse hangovers. Men have higher body water content (62 per cent) than women (52 per cent) so their system dilutes alcohol better than ours.

The myth: Coffee, or a cold shower, or the million home remedies (we all have them) can cure a hangover.
Debunked: There is no scientifically proven cure for a hangover. It can only pass with time.

The myth: Mixing spirits gets you more intoxicated.
Debunked: Mixing alcohols upsets your stomach – you get sick faster and might need to throw up. It does not get you more drunk. Drunkenness depends on blood alcohol content; not on the variety of liquor you guzzle.