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Sunday Supplement

Issue 129

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Steps from one to floor. The effects of booze on the brain.

The symptoms of having 'one too many' are pretty obvious; slurred speech, terrible dance moves, and a loss of inhibitions. You may have experienced a few of these lately now the pubs are open again. But, have you ever wondered what's actually going on in your brain when you’re drunk? 🧠.

Step 1: The initial euphoric effects of alcohol are a result of dopamine —the ‘feel good’ neurotransmitter—being released from the reward centre in the brain. It also triggers the release of serotonin, a chemical involved in feeling happy and calm.



Step 2: Alcohol increases the effects of the neurotransmitter GABA, which causes our brain cells to communicate at a slower rate. Some of the visible symptoms of this are slurred speech, and loss of inhibitions.



Step 3: The part of your brain that controls coordination, the cerebellum, is very sensitive to alcohol which is why when you’re drunk you can have difficulty walking straight.



Step 4: Alcohol also dampens the reticular activating system, this area in the brainstem controls consciousness—which leads to sleepiness or even passing out after a few too many drinks.



Did you know the current NHS guidelines advise limiting alcohol intake to 14 units a week? That’s the equivalent of no more than 6 pints of beer or 7 small glasses of wine. 😱


Beyond the immediate impact on your brain, alcohol can have some nasty effects in the long run. It's been linked to a whole range of mental health issues including addiction, anxiety, depression, and memory loss, to name a few. But that being said, the MIND diet does include a small glass of wine a day. So, really, it’s all about balance.

If you want to enjoy an aperitif without the alcohol, we've secured 20% off at Mother Root just for Heights customers when you use code: BRAINCARE20 at checkout.

💬 Head over to our Instagram page to join this week's conversation about alcohol and the brain where we'll be answering your questions in the comments of our latest post.


Why you should

Did you know that you need antioxidants to help your body metabolize alcohol (and lots of other things)?

The Smart Supplement contains vitamin A, C, E as well as zinc, selenium, and anthocyanins to help you process free radicals that can lead to cell damage.

Use code: BIRTHDAYPARTY at checkout for 15% off your first order of the Smart Supplement.*

The Smart Supplement
How Your Favourite Ales, Spirits and Wines Affect Your Body and Mind.
In this mini episode, Sophie Medlin, Head of Nutrition Research at Heights, explores the physical and mental benefits and drawbacks of alcohol.


At Heights we try to take a pretty reasonable yet healthy stance - we think you should do whatever you want in life, so long as you’re aware, informed and making responsible decisions.

That’s why I chose to write a newsletter on the effects of alcohol on the brain, on my birthday (also David Beckham and The Rock’s in case you were wondering!)

I will definitely be going out today - for lunch and dinner (YOLO 😉) and having a drink or two in celebration.

So, what to get for the man who has it all (2 cats, a wife, and a baby on the way)? Well, I’d never say no to a few more bright minds like you joining our braincare club and starting your day with the Smart Supplement, so I set up a one time code for this weekend only* for 15% off when you join the party - everytime I see one of those orders come in today, I’ll think of it as unwrapping another gift! Just use the code ‘BIRTHDAYPARTY’ and click here to redeem.

Enjoy your bank holiday, and I’ll raise a glass to your brain,


Dan Murray-Serter


PS: A secret pro tip I learned from Julian Hearn, the founder of Huel. 2 Smart Supplement capsules before you go to bed on a night of drinking - wake up hangover free. We don’t promote that but let’s just say that we’ve tried, tested and approved this surprising discovery so… 😉

*Code expires 23:59 on 03.05.21 BST.
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