Drinking gin really does make you sad: Study discovers how spirits affect your emotions

There’s an urban myth that gin makes you sad and most people probably dismiss it as exactly that. But what if the type of alcoholic drink we choose could directly affect our emotions? Well, according to new research, it can.

Drinking gin really does make you sad: Study discovers how spirits affect your emotions

Public Health Wales surveyed almost 30,000 people aged between 18 and 34 from 21 countries to determine their emotional responses to different types of alcoholic drink and found spirits were the most likely to make us unhappy.

“Overall 29.8% of respondents reported feeling aggressive when drinking spirits, compared with only 7.1% when drinking red wine”, the BMJ Open journal explains.

On closer inspection, it appears the disparity is even more striking. The table of ‘Overall reported emotions by individual type of alcoholic drink (%)’, shows that only 2.57% of red wine drinkers experienced feelings of aggression, not 7.1%. That’s ten times fewer than those who opted to drink a spirit.

Spirits are also the most likely to make you feel sad. More than 22% of those surveyed reported feeling tearful, compared to less than 10% of beer and white wine drinkers.

Fortunately, it’s not all bad news if you only like to have the occasional rum and coke. The journal points out that: “Respondents’ level of alcohol dependency was strongly associated with feeling all emotions, with the likelihood of aggression being significantly higher in possible dependent versus low risk drinkers”.

What’s more, spirit drinkers were also the most likely to feel confident (59%), energised (58%) or sexy (42%).

The only emotional response that spirits didn’t score highest for was being relaxed; if you’re looking to unwind, you’re better off with red wine or beer, both of which scored much higher in this area (52% and 49% respectively).

The study’s authors ensured that all respondents had reported drinking all types of alcohol included in the analysis over the past 12 months in order to make for a fair comparison. The hope is that the study findings might help to reduce “alcohol-related harms” by better understanding how different drinks are associated with a variety of different social and emotional outcomes.

If this news hasn’t put you off drinking gin for good, click here to see our list of the finest gins you can buy.

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