Does vodka actually make you more aggressive?

Getty Images  iStock

Getty Images iStock

A group of researchers from the United Kingdom (where else?) set out to see how different types of alcohol affect your mood.

'Emotions experienced could also be related to when the alcohol is drunk, the levels of alcohol within each beverage type and the different compounds found in different drinks'.

To explore links between alcohol preference and emotion, researchers in the United Kingdom made use of data collected in the Global Drug Survey-the world's largest online questionnaire about drug and alcohol use in adults.

NHS researchers tracked the responses of just under 30,000 18- to 34 year olds from 21 countries who participated in the questionnaire. In addition, self-reported data are only as good as a participant's memory, and the survey didn't ask how quickly they were drinking, what their moods were like before they took the first sip, or if there was something like dancing or drugs involved that may have changed the overall experience. Men in particular were most likely to report feeling of aggression after consuming spirits. Or is it just kind of a self-fulfilling prophecy whereby we tend to drink red wine in relaxing settings and gin when we're preparing to get bladdered?

Co-author Professor Mark Bellis, who is also Public Health Wales' director of policy, research and global development, added: "For centuries, the history of rum, gin, vodka and other spirits has been laced with violence". People may also 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.

About half of those who drink red wine and beer said it makes them feel relaxed and mellow, results from the Global Drug Survey show. And beer followed closely behind in second place.

People's preconceptions about drinks also play a role - for example if people drink red wine to relax they will probably end up more relaxed, and if they drink vodka to party they will probably end up feeling energised.

Several people killed in a helicopter and plane collision over Buckinghamshire
A nearby military base, RAF Halton, also said no military aircraft were involved. "Skies around here are so busy". Superintendent Rebecca Mears of Thames Valley said on Friday evening the aircraft were carrying two people each.

One in four wine drinkers said they felt sexier after having a couple of glasses. That was more than three times the number of people who reported feeling aggressive after drinking beer, and 10 times the number for either type of wine.

This compared to about two per cent of wine drinkers and seven per cent of beer drinkers.

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".

The study is published as the Scottish government announced it will introduce minimum pricing for alcohol on 1 May next year in a bid to combat binge drinking.

"Alcohol reduces consideration of the consequences of actions as it suppresses the more rational parts of the brain", Bellis said.

"Such prices can encourage consumption at levels harmful to the health of the drinker and through violence and injuries also represent a risk to the people around them". The researches noted that the emotions were more likely to be felt by dependent drinkers versus casual drinkers. This can result in a quicker stimulating effect as blood alcohol levels increase.

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