Blog Post - News, Views and Tips
With the summer holidays and BBQ season not too far away, this one may be of special interest for those of you who would like to watch not just how much alcohol you drink, but also on what you drink. For those of you that don’t drink alcohol at all, either for religious or health reasons, then I’m sure you’ll still know someone who does.
If you’ve ever wondered why some drinks affect you worse than others, and why mixing your drinks is a bad idea, then here’s the answer.
Congeners are substances other than Ethanol (the actual alcohol) that occur naturally in alcoholic drinks as a result of the distilling and fermenting processes. While the Ethanol itself and the other residual effects of it are the main sources of the inevitable hangover from drinking too much, the role of Congeners is of interest due to their toxicity on the brain and nervous system.
Dark coloured alcoholic drinks contain higher levels of Congeners than clearer (whiter) ones, and studies seem to indicate that these higher levels contribute towards more severe hangovers. This may be why if you drink, say red wine or whisky, you are more likely to feel worse than if you had clear drinks like white wine or vodka. Additionally, because different drinks contain different Congeners, combining the different toxins when mixing your drink types can result in particularly lethal Congener cocktails, usually leading to those nastier hangovers.
Always remember though, that the leading Cancer research experts say that even moderate drinking increases the risk of certain cancers like breast, oral, bowel and liver cancer. It also impairs the body’s natural ability to fight off infections, and damages the DNA due to a toxic compound called acetaldehyde. In excess, alcohol can lead to strokes, increase blood pressure, cause depression, and actually elevate the risk of heart disease despite being known to have a preventative effect on it in small amounts.
So, for a clearer healthier Summer Holiday, or simply a better BBQ, it might pay to be careful with what you choose to drink as well as how much!