Red Wine Boosts Your Confidence and Relaxes Your Mind, Says New Study

According to a survey of legal and illicit drug and alcohol use among adults spirits are the drink likely to be associated with the emotion of “relax.”

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

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. Illness and tearfulness came in at 19.29 percent and 17.10 percent - low compared to spirits.

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.

Their answers showed that they attributed different emotions - energised, relaxed, sexy, confident and exhausted, aggressive, ill, restless, and tearful - to different types of alcohol.

The only emotional response that spirits didn't score highest for was being relaxed; if you're looking to unwind, you're better off with red wine or beer, both of which scored much higher in this area (52% and 49% respectively).

"Young people will often drink spirits on a night out, whereas wine might be drunk more at home, with a meal", Professor Mark Bellis from Public Health Wales NHS Trust said.

In fact, drinking spirits tends to draw out more negative feelings than other types of alcohol, say the United Kingdom authors. The question used in the survey probed the type of alcohol consumed by the participants and the associated emotions.

But 59 per cent of spirit drinkers reported feelings of confidence compared to 45 per cent of beer drinkers and just over a quarter of red or white wine drinkers. But it's important not to let the myths get in the way of the facts. Only 2.5 percent of red wine drinkers listed aggressive. Men more often associated feelings of aggression with alcohol, according to the survey results.

As heavy drinkers go down "a slippery slope", Bellis said, they may experience increasingly positive emotions from drinking, "but they're equally seeing much higher levels of those negative emotions". In fact, almost a third of respondents - 30 per cent - ticked the box linking spirits with feelings of aggression (compared to 7 per cent for red wine). It was published in the peer-reviewed medical journal BMJ Open, which is free to read online.

"If people are to make informed decisions about their drinking, they need to know the full picture of how alcohol affects moods and emotions", Bellis added.

"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". "As people get the kick from escalating alcohol levels, the same increases reduce the brain's ability to suppress impulsive feelings or to consider the consequences of acting on them".

Spirits have an even greater effect on self-esteem with 40 per cent of people who enjoy vodka, gin or rum claiming they felt sexier as a result.

Krakower, though, doesn't think that will help folks who are dependent on alcohol.

It is clear from the study that people associate a range of emotions - good and bad - with drinking different types of alcohol.

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