10 Alcohol Myths You Might Want to Get Straight
Old wives’ tales, get outta here
Whether you’re sipping Negronis at the annual office bash or polishing off a bottle of Merlot on your couch, you’re a lady who appreciates a stiff drink. But is everything you know about holding your liquor actually a lie? Let’s investigate.
MYTH: BEER BEFORE LIQUOR, NEVER BEEN SICKER
Truth: You know the expression. Hell, you think of it every time you accidentally order a Stella before your Manhattan. But here’s the thing: It’s actually the total amount of alcohol consumed--and how quickly you consume it--that makes you sick, not the combinations of booze. All you really need to do is pace yourself (about one drink per hour) and you should be fine.
MYTH: MIXING IN CAFFEINE WILL MAKE YOU LESS SLEEPY
Truth: Even though it feels like you suddenly have tons of energy, it might just be an alcohol-induced buzz. When caffeine (especially diet soda) is consumed with alcohol, it can actually alter your perception of how drunk you are, leading you to drink way more than planned. Instead, alternate your cocktails with water to feel less sleepy. (Trust us--it works.)
MYTH: OLD WINE IS THE BEST WINE
Truth: A lot of wines--like your fave Sauv Blanc--are actually meant to be consumed right away or at least within the first year or two of production. A good rule of thumb to keep in mind for any bottles collecting dust on your shelf: The cheaper the bottle, the faster it should be consumed. (And isn’t that why we all buy cheap wine in the first place?)
MYTH: YOU CAN’T DRINK WHILE BREASTFEEDING
Truth: It’s best to wait until the three-month mark before having an occasional drink while breastfeeding, but after that, as long as you wait at least three hours between finishing a glass of Chardonnay and nursing your baby, you should be fine. Still, there’s always a risk--just check with your doctor to be sure.
MYTH: ALL LIGHT BEERS ARE THE HEALTHIEST OPTION
Truth: Beers are actually only “light” compared with their counterparts (for example, Corona vs. Corona Light). The only way to really know if a light beer is worthy is to check the calorie counts of others. For instance, a Guinness is only 15 calories more than a Bud Light.
MYTH: YOU CAN’T RECORK A BOTTLE OF RED
Truth: Sure, oxygen can turn a bottle of wine into red vinegar, but as long as you put the cork back in after every glass you pour (here, we have a trick), you should be able to stretch the life of your bottle for at least three days after you open it up.
MYTH: IT TAKES ONE HOUR TO SOBER UP FOR EVERY DRINK
Truth: This is the case for only the first drink. For every drink after that, add an extra 30 minutes, since the effects are cumulative. (For example, if you have three drinks, you’ll need to allow about four and a half hours to sober up.)
MYTH: IT’S OK TO FILL A WINE GLASS TO THE TIPPY TOP
Truth: Look, we all love a generous pour, but you actually ruin the taste of the wine if you let your vino get too warm. Check out our handy guide to see how high you should fill your glass--whether you’re sipping red or white (or bubbly).
MYTH: CHEAP WINE MAKES YOU SICK
Truth: That’s a big ol’ nope. A lawsuit was filed earlier this year in which the plaintiff claims that several big-box brands are adding harmful levels of arsenic to their wines. But the FDA maintains that all U.S.-sold wines are safe to consume.
MYTH: TOO MANY COSMOS IS THE REASON YOU TEXTED YOUR EX
Truth: When you drink too much alcohol, your brain cells are impaired, yes--but they're not dead. Sure, communication between neurons and synapses is much, much slower than usual when you’ve had too much to drink, but all reason is not out the window. Our advice? Draft the text, then wait a beat--or the length of the cab ride home--to hit send.