Ever heard of liquid luck? It’s a potion famously known in the Harry Potter Series as Felix Felicis; it gives the drinker of the potion an incredible amount of luck for a specific period. Well, this liquid luck is non-existent, but there is something that mortals or muggles call liquid courage, and it exists. Ladies and gentlemen, here is your liquid courage, namely Alcohol. But it could be said that beers are among the most loved alcoholic beverages. But can they make you a social butterfly? Here are the facts.
Physiological Effects of Drinking Beer
It is a known fact that beer is an alcoholic drink and that the consumption of alcohol comes with a rather large warning sign like that of road signs. Drinking alcoholic beer in large quantities may likely result in the following.
- Alcohol Dependence
- Liver Diseases
- Kidney Diseases
- High Blood Pressure related illnesses
- Heart Problems
- Low Blood Sugar
Each illness and medical condition present problems that can prove detrimental to a person’s daily living. Irresponsibly drinking alcoholic beer definitely will cause problems for a person in the future.
Alcohol, Smiles, and Research
In a recent study conducted about the Effects of Alcohol on Group Formation, 720 individuals (360 healthy men and 360 healthy women) participated in a recorded experiment. The participants were divided into 3 groups of three given different doses of alcohol; some groups received cocktails with alcohol, some received the same cocktails without the alcohol, and the remaining groups were given the same cocktail juice without alcohol, but their drinking glasses were smeared with some alcohol to make it look like the drink had some alcohol in it.
The 720 participants were told that they were to be observed on how they would be able to finish tasks after they had alcoholic drinks. Although in reality, they were recorded, and their facial expressions and the patterns of their conversations were coded using a system as they interacted with their designated groupmates.
The researchers recorded “golden moments” where the authentic Duchenne Smile is famously known to indicate true happiness as it showcases a smile both from the mouth along with the eyes. These “golden moments” were more apparent with the groups who had alcohol on their drinks rather than those without.
Alcohol affects a person’s behavior that is exhibited through his or her willingness to socialize more freely and with lower inhibitions.
Beer on Your Brain
A study about Moderate Alcohol Consumption and its effects has yielded results showing how drinking beer or any other alcoholic beverage releases ‘endorphins’ or the ‘happy hormone’. As Science and experts on the field once and for all put an end to the myth that beer and any alcoholic drink make them happy as nothing but the fact with this study and their concrete evidence through brain scans and whatnot. There is also evidence that drinking beer or alcohol, even in moderation, can be harmful as it affects the brain’s hippocampus size. This part of the brain is responsible for cognition and learning.
The long-term study involved around 103 women and 424 men whose drinking habits were extensively monitored, spanning almost four decades at the end, they were given a test of memory related to cognitive functions, after which they were subjected to MRI, which showed a decrease in size of the participants who drank moderately or one to two drinks per day.
Logically speaking, this would mean that beer can make you social as it helps reduce the anxiety a person feels when interacting with people he or she has just met. The study also demonstrates a powerful fact that if a small amount of beer or any alcohol can indeed affect the functions of the brain positively, then it would also cause some big problems in the future.
It’s probably worth mentioning as well a study about an interesting MRI Study of the Rewarding and Anxiolytic Effects of Alcohol in which the researchers administered alcoholic drinks intravenously and gave the participants an MRI scan. The results showed that drinking beer and other alcoholic drinks can interrupt the reaction of your brain, more specifically in the region where the amygdala is found, to cues of negative or facial expressions that indicate some sort of rejection.
Meaning that beer lower people’s inhibitions when it comes to rejection and thus makes them, in the sense of the word, more sociable than when they are sober. This lowered inhibition is good in terms of boosting one’s courage to let their hair down, but it can also lead to devastating short-term effects like aggressiveness that can then lead to a fight with others whose inhibitions have gone down due to alcohol.
“Man by nature is social,” as Aristotle would have it, no one would be drinking cold beer alone. But it happens; sometimes, you just want to be left alone. However, drinking alone versus with other people does affect a person as well.
In the studies mentioned earlier, when those who drank alone were asked what they felt after drinking alcohol, they reported more on the physiological effects that they felt, while those who drank within a group reported how their moods changed and how they felt about other people with them or the situation. It would seem that even alcohol and beers are social entities or at least propellers of social engagements at that.
Drinking socially is not just responsibly drinking in moderation but drinking on well-chosen social occasions. Like-minded people gravitate toward each other, and human brains must have been hard-wired to be drawn to the same crowd as itself. Gathering around the same people who may think like them adds to the dopamine levels of a person.
The brain recognizes the signals that other people’s brains are giving off, which makes the mood in the room. These occasions might as well define the magnitude one drinks. The happier the occasion, the happier the mood, and the more beer and alcohol are drunk, although this is not absolute as there is always another side to the coin.
If ever given a chance, people would most certainly choose to drink with other people to make themselves feel better and vice versa. People are social beings, and drinking beer makes it easier for the brain to lower inhibitions and create more socially engaging settings. One cannot ignore, though, that drinking too much beer or alcohol can and will have both negative short and long-term effects. So don’t just drink socially but drink responsibly as part of society.
I am a passionate beer connoisseur with a deep appreciation for the art and science of brewing. With years of experience tasting and evaluating various beers, I love to share my opinions and insights with others and I am always eager to engage in lively discussions about my favorite beverage.