Does Alcohol Really Make You Happier?

In good times and in bad times we often are looking for a toast to make us feel good. Does alcohol really make you happier, though? We thought through this question in the following infographic!

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To drink is human…to drink alcohol is superhuman

  • The Party Got Started At The Beginning Of Time
    • 10 million years ago human’s caught their first buzz by eating rotten fruit that had turned alcoholic
      • Aided survival by increasing available food supply
    • 10K+ years ago the first beer mug was made
    • 6K years ago Egyptian slaves were given 1.3 gallons of beer/day while building the pyramids
    • 2K+ years ago grapevine production was ordered by the Roman senate & wine flowed freely to the public

The rules of social drinking influence your behavior more than actual drinking laws

  • Drink Like A King—Why What & Where You Drink Matters
    • Who likes to take the edge off?
      • 87.6% of Americans over 18 have consumed alcoholic beverages
      • 1 in 6 U.S. adults binge drink once a week, consuming an average of 8 drinks in one sitting
      • Europeans consume 29% more alcohol per person than the U.S.—that’s more than any other area of the world!
    • What does your drink say about you?
      • Beverages help declare who you are and who you want to be
      • National identity is closely linked to native drinks
        • Bourbon for Americans
        • Tequila for Mexicans
        • Beer for Germans
    • When should you pop bottles?
      • Alcohol is used to define the nature of an event, situation, or celebration
        • Champagne associated with celebrations
        • Wine with meals
        • Beer for casual gatherings
        • Shots are for getting s#!% faced!
    • Where is your local watering hole?
      • In 2015, $24 billion was generated by U.S. bars and nightclubs
      • Drinking culture varies from country to country
        • South Koreans like to drink “bombs,” different mixtures of whiskey and beer
        • Spanish bars are more family forward than the U.S. and even allow under age children
        • Germany holds a month long festival celebrating beer known as Oktoberfest
      • Bars tend to be more socially accepting
        • Different rules & customs than normal society
        • Allow people to “loosen up”
    • Why do we celebrate by drinking?
      • Drinking marks the shift from work to play
        • 51.2% of American’s had a drink on St. Patrick’s day in 2016
      • Alcohol is a traditional part of our symbolic rituals and aids the transition from one phase of life to the next
        • Marriages
        • Birthdays
        • New Jobs
        • Retirement

Because no great story ever started with a salad..

  • Liquid Courage & Catching A Hangover
    • What happens when you party too hard?
      • Heavy drinking depletes these endorphins, resulting in a physical & emotional hangover that can lead
        • Headache
        • Nausea
        • Dizziness
        • Dehydration
        • Mood imbalances
      • Over indulging can be more than tomorrow’s problem
        • 31% of U.S. driving fatalities are caused by drunk drivers
        • Men are 2X more likely to die from alcohol related causes than women
    • But what good can it do for your mind and body?
      • Alcohol releases endorphins in pleasure centers in the brain
        • Exercise, meditation, & sunshine also release endorphins
      • Rising levels of endorphins
        • Create stronger sense of pleasure as well as intoxication
        • Causes feelings of happiness, confidence, & lowered inhibitions
      • Can create a euphoric state of consciousness when highly intoxicated
        • ≈ 4/5 drinks for men
        • ≈ 3/4 drinks for women

So is alcohol good for you or what?

  • Moderate drinking (1-2 drinks/day) is shown to have positive health benefits
    • Lowers risk of heart disease
    • Improves libido & reduces risk or erectile dysfunction by 25-30%
    • 23% less likely to develop Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia
    • Reduces risk of type 2 diabetes compared to non-drinkers