Liquor and its effect on us.
So… does Tequila make us crazy? According to some studies out there, a nearly perfect percentage of adults (children weren’t surveyed) believe that the type of spirits they consume causes them to behave in different ways, whether it be vodka, gin, whiskey, scotch, blue agave spirits etc, with tequila having the worst reputation of all. Is this true?
Survey a group of bar patrons in any given city or restaurant and you’ll probably find that they have their reasons for choosing one liquor over another, or even one flavor over another. Almost every person you may query will be adamant that they, or people they know (notably men), feel or act differently when they chose to drink one spirit or liquor over another. Tequila, for whatever reason, bares the burden in this topic. “Tequila makes me crazy” is a response you’ve likely heard or even said yourself. Country music may have something to do with it…
But does tequila make you crazy?
We do know that different kinds of alcohol can leave us in varying degrees of hungover. Some studies have boiled it down to something called congeners, which potentially make darker liquors more damaging and may affect our mood and behavior. No conclusive studies have been made, however. If you’re drinking the same amount of alcohol, there’s really no scientific reason one type of drink would make you act differently than another. Realistically, its all the same.
All alcoholic beverages contain the same intoxicating ingredient: ethanol. Whether it’s beer, wine or liquor, the alcohol is molecularly identical and affects your brain the same way. Tequila is distilled from sugars of the agave plant. The distillation process gives it a different makeup of congeners than other alcohols, which really only affect the alcohol’s taste. There’s no known secret ingredient in tequila that makes you want to rage. The most logical explanation to these feelings may be that we change how we drink, depending on what we’re drinking.
If a drinker decides to do shots and slams back a few shots of tequila, then they’ll get intoxicated faster than if they were gently sipping a scotch throughout the evening. Viola! tequila gets a reputation, which leads to the issue of a self-fulfilling prophecy. If people believe that Tequila makes them rage, then they may opt to drink it when they’re heading out with boys on Friday night or looking to rough up some locals. In the same token, you may enjoy an entire bottle of wine (maybe even two) in a dark, cozy corner of your favorite bistro. You’re drunk, but your demeanor is happy and sleepy, most likely because you’re environment was happy and sleepy to start with. No one is screaming or yelling and fists are not flying.
Ethanol is a central nervous system depressant, meaning it has calming and sleep-inducing effects. All liquor options have varying levels of alcohol concentration and different people may process through it at different rates. In the end, and “despite all the anecdotal evidence to the contrary, scientists say this belief is “simply wrong: ethanol is ethanol, and whatever spirit you consume, it’s the ethanol that affects you” – Wayne Curtis; The Atlantic.
Don’t believe us? Check out this great video from Julian Huguet (@jhug00) that talks more about our findings above. If you really want to test yourself, try these two experiments:
go to your local tequila bar at midnight after a game and order 3 shots of tequila
buy a bottle of Los Osuna, 100% Blue Agave Spirits and pour 3 oz over ice and relax with a cigar.
Report back on which scenario ends with you sleeping on the porch swing with a black eye 🙂