Beer Muscles Explained...

Without alcohol I would have been a very lonely nerd in college and now a new study explains why you feel so fearless after a few rounds. From the NewScientist:
Jodi Gilman and her colleagues at the US National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism in Bethesda, Maryland, used MRI to observe the brain activity of 12 healthy "social drinkers" both when sober and after they had been given alcohol intravenously and their blood alcohol levels had reached nearly 0.8 grams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood - the legal limit for driving in the UK and the US. In both conditions they were shown pictures of either frightened or neutral faces.

The researchers found that booze completely changed the way the brain reacted to the images. Without alcohol, the amygdala - which is involved in processing emotional reactions - lit up in response to the frightened faces, but with alcohol, it was less active, reacting equally to neutral and fearful faces. This may help explain why drunkenness makes people both more outgoing and more aggressive: it impairs the amygdala's ability to detect threats.
Alcohol is a touchy subject when you’re eating for health; especially if you’re a single twenty-something like me. Here are my rules for drinking:
  1. No drinking during the work-week.
  2. Never drink beer.
  3. No mixed drinks with juice.
  4. Never get sloppy drink.
  5. Order drinks with ice.
  6. Drink slow.
  7. Only go out for drinks one night per week.
  8. Keep it simple.
I either drink cabernet sauvignon or gin martinis on the rocks and to be honest, I almost never have more than two or three. Here are Dr. Fuhrman’s thoughts on boozing:
One glass of wine per day is likely insignificant, but I advise against higher levels of alcohol consumption. Avoid alcohol and eat healthfully if possible, but if that one drink a day will make you stay with this plan much more successfully, then have it.
Now, I’ve witnessed it first hand, Dr. Fuhrman doesn’t drink. So, if you ever feel self conscious about not touching a drop—DON’T—you’re in good company.
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Comments (5) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
Josh - May 2, 2008 9:03 AM

Thanks for this topic. Your rules make a lot of sense, but I am wondering why the ban on beer? I know wine is alleged to have health benefit, but isn't beer in the same category as mixed drinks--namely, empty calories but probably not harmful if indulged in infrequently and limited to one or two?

Gerry Pugliese - May 2, 2008 12:02 PM

Hey Josh-

Its more of a personal preference, not a nutrition decision. I don't really get swept up by the whole "wine is good for us" thing. I drink it because I like it.

Hope that helps.

Peace.
-Gerry

Sara - May 3, 2008 8:35 PM

Hey Gerry- "two or three" gin martinis are no way equal to a glass of wine. Yeah I understand you are twenty-something. I still can't see that as being part of a nutritarian lifestyle.

Gerry Pugliese - May 3, 2008 8:53 PM

Hey Sara-

I never said gin martinis are the same as wine, those are just the two things I typically drink.

Sure, ideally drinking is not part of a nutritarian lifestyle, I admit it.
That's why I adhere to my rules. Its just a concession I'm willing to make for the sake of fun.


Peace.
-Gerry

Monty - May 5, 2008 4:06 PM

Anything containing C2H5OH (ethyl alcohol) is neurotoxic, with the damage being cumulative. It should be considered to be a chemical pollutant. Avoid the stuff in all forms.

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