Alcohol's link to emotion: How spirits, wine and beer make you feel

Spirits such as vodka gin or rum are more likely to draw out negative feelings compared to other alcoholic drinks researchers say

Spirits such as vodka gin or rum are more likely to draw out negative feelings compared to other alcoholic drinks researchers say

A quarter of red and white wine drinkers feel sexy after a couple of glasses but the majority just feel exhausted, according to a new study which suggests the same drink can elicit various emotional responses.

But the beverage also appears to make three in five consumers (60%) feel exhausted.

The biggest ever study looking into how different alcoholic drinks affect the emotions has found that spirits are far worse than beer or wine for triggering bouts of depression and unexpected weeping.

However the research, published in the journal BMJ Open, also suggests loutish drunken behaviour may be linked to the type of alcohol a person has consumed.

After examining anonymous responses to the world's largest online survey of legal and illicit drug and alcohol use in adults, researchers found drinking spirits like vodka, gin or rum appeared to be more commonly associated with violence than other drinks after 30 per cent reporting feeling aggressive. Similarly, almost one quarter said spirits left them tearful, compared with 17 per cent of red wine drinkers, and nine per cent of beer and white wine drinkers.

Nearly 30,000 people aged between 18 to 34 were asked about how drinking red or white wine, beer or spirits affected them, either drinking at home, or when out.

Mental health stock
A quarter of individuals said drinking spirits induced tearfulness

Drinking spirits was also more likely to draw out negative feelings than all the other types of alcohol, according to the research by Public Health Wales.

This compares to around a quarter of red or white wine drinkers and 19 per cent of beer drinkers.

And 59 per cent of those who drink spirits reported feelings of confidence compared to 45 per cent of beer drinkers and just over a quarter of wine drinkers.

The authors conclude: "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".

Study co-author Professor Mark Bellis, also director of policy, research and worldwide development at Public Health Wales, said: "For centuries, the history of rum, gin, vodka and other spirits has been laced with violence".

"This global study suggests even today consuming spirits is more likely to result in feelings of aggression than other drinks".

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