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.