Spirits make you feel 'aggressive and sexy'

Drinking gin really does make you sad: Study discovers how spirits affect your emotions

Wine and beer, on the other hand, makes you feel relaxed. Participants were asked what feelings they associated with the different beverages, including these emotions: energized, relaxed, sexy, confident, tired, aggressive, ill, restless, and tearful. Almost a third (30 per cent) of spirit drinkers associated the drink with feelings of aggression compared with around 2.5 per cent of red wine drinkers.

Most people drink alcohol seeking positive effects, said the study's co-author, Mark Bellis, director of policy, research and global development at Public Health Wales.

For people drinking red wine, more drinkers said they felt relaxed, with 53% of respondents saying they felt this way, and 60% of people saying they felt exhausted after drinking. Basically, the setting in which people tend to drink red wine might be more relaxing, whereas the setting for spirits might be more active.

"Overall 29.8% of respondents reported feeling aggressive when drinking spirits, compared with only 7.1% when drinking red wine", the BMJ Open journal explains. He is director of policy, research and global development with Public Health Wales NHS Trust in Cardiff. "This can result in a quicker stimulating effect as blood alcohol levels increase", Bellis was quoted as saying by "The Telegraph".

Reminding people of the emotional downsides of alcohol use through public-health campaigns could help curb problem drinking, he said, "so that people are not overly swayed by just the positive messages, which perhaps they watch or listen to every day".

Men were significantly more likely than women to associate feelings of aggression with all types of alcohol, particularly heavier drinkers, it was found. More than 40 percent ticked "sexy" on the survey.

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

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One in four wine drinkers said they felt sexier after having a couple of glasses. Negative feelings such as aggression (30%), restlessness (28%) and tearfulness (22%) give significant cause for concern. The exception was aggression, which was more commonly reported by men (36.97% of men compared to 31.27% of women).

After looking at the drinking habits of people across 21 countries, the study found that different drinks affect our emotional responses in varying ways.

Meanwhile, spirits appeared to make drinkers feel more "energised" than other drinks, with more than half of drinkers reporting energy boosts.

They speculate that people's emotions are also likely to be affected by their mood before drinking, the speed and quantity of alcohol they drank, mixed drinks and activities such as dancing and socialising.

Alcohol consumption has a long-term association in determining the mood of the person who consumes it.

This study is useful in that it can help health campaigners understand why people choose a type of alcohol in a certain situation.

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