The Top 15 Positive (and Negative) Effects of Booze

Some argue that because of the pervasiveness of alcohol throughout the world’s various cultures, that man is meant to brew it. Silly as it may sound, it’s got some merit, since like or not alcohol is a major part of our heritage. The stuff causes its share of troubles, to be sure, but there are plenty of oft-overlooked positives to be found in it as well. These are the top 15 effects of booze, both positive and negative. [via manolith]

[+] Helps In Chatting Girls Up


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It’s the first thing all kids are taught about alcohol in high school; it lowers your inhibitions. The spin put on this is, of course, negative. The real fact of the matter is that most guys would never conjure up the guts required to talk to girls they’re interested in if it weren’t for this very lowering of their inhibitions. Booze is a social impetus, and it has been for thousands of years. When used properly it can turn a shy guy into a social butterfly; just be careful not to drink too much or it all goes out the window.

[-] You May Not Know When to Shut Up


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Unfortunately, for many guys the line between drinking enough to become more social, and getting flat-out drunk is a pretty fine one. When a guy crosses this line, the odds of him successfully talking to women (or anyone) and maintaining tact, coherency, and his dignity become pretty slim. The only way out of this mess once it’s begun is if the girl he’s talking to is as drunk as he is. If that’s the case, then damage can be minimal, but it’s still never a good idea to let it get this bad to begin with.

[+] It Makes Women Friendlier


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It’s a fact, a couple of martinis can make even the coldest of women start to warm up a bit. We’ve all had the experience; a girl we know who is just too stuffy for her own good gets a couple of drinks in her and before we know it, she’s dancing on the bar topless — and you’re holding her high heels for her. This of course is an extreme situation, but any variation of it happens every day at bars the world over.

[-] The Beer Goggle Effect


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Just as it livens up stuffy women, alcohol has an unfortunate effect on our eyesight; it doesn’t so much make us need glasses, it just skews our perspective a bit. Drinking too much while on the prowl inevitably leads to a morning after — as in, the morning after you went home filthy drunk with the 300 lb “woman” at the end of the bar who had a suspiciously hairy set of chins. Don’t let this happen to you.

[+] Good for the Heart (In Moderation)


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One of the best things about alcohol isn’t that it can help pick up women. The last few years have been host to a number of studies done by researchers across the world, all aiming to determine if the prevailing theory is correct — that alcohol can and will improve the drinker’s health when taken in moderation. The basic idea is that women can and should have about one drink a day, and two for men. The overall effect is like a daily cleaning for the arteries, and can even extend the life of the drinker by a couple of years if it all pans out true in the end. If studies down the road don’t show the huge increase in lifespan they expected, docs still see no harm in the practice; though red wine is much preferred over hard liquor for this sort of thing.

[-] Bad for Your Health (In Excess)


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Ah yes, while it has been shown to provide health benefits in moderation, alcohol is still alcohol, and heavy drinking can kill you. Aside from the obvious, such as alcohol poisoning, there are many negative repercussions for alcoholics; heart disease, brain damage, cancer, sclerosis of the liver, depression — the list goes on. We’ve all had our party years, let’s just keep them in the past, shall we?

[+] Helps You Relax


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Often overlooked because of the stigma associated with alcohol abuse, booze helps us relax. There’s really nothing wrong with a guy coming home and pouring himself a glass of his favorite spirit to help him de-stress after a day at work, even alone. The only people who shouldn’t be doing this are the ones who already have alcohol problems; the rest of us just need to practice moderation, kick back, and relax a little.

[-] Passing Out


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Sometimes we throw our plans out the window during a night of partying, and drink ourselves into a drunken stupor. This is never recommended, and always stupid. Countless men and women learn this lesson far before the age of 25, because they made the mistake of drinking so much that they passed out, or they watched a friend do it. When it happens, the friends of the unconscious individual usually take it upon themselves to ensure he never does it again.

[+] Good for Male Bonding


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The bond formed between guys who hang out and drink together can be a strong one; booze helps us drop the walls of personal space and secrecy, we open up and talk about things we’d normally just leave be. The overwhelming odds that shenanigans of some sort ensuing when booze is around also lends to this; guys who get stuck in odd, exhilarating or even dangerous situations together often wind up worlds closer than they were beforehand.

[-] Tempers Flare; Fights Break Out


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Unfortunately, some of the very same reasons that alcohol helps men to bond with each other can contribute to the ridiculous amounts of fights that break out whenever booze is around. It just seems an inescapable fact; drunk guys start fights. The best we can do is to always try to keep a cool head and diffuse fights before they occur, but it doesn’t work all the time.

[+] Last Longer in Bed


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A nice side-effect of alcohol on those nights when Lady Luck does smile on you in your endeavors at the local bar — if you manage to get a girl home with you, you just may last several times longer than usual in the sack. Of course, the obvious problem with this is that old fine line rears its ugly head once again, and we all know what happens then…

[-] Can’t Get it Up


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Sure, a couple shots and a beer can help you go all night, but if you drink just a little too much you may overdo it and get the much-maligned whiskey dick. This is not only a fun-killer, but it can damage egos and lead to a once-in-a-lifetime chance slipping through your fingers. When things start feeling numb all over, you’re probably at the point where you should stop if you plan on being able to perform in bed later.

[+] Good for Staying Warm in the Winter


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An ages old method for staving off the cold in the wintry months all over the world, alcohol is great for making you feel much warmer than you really are. Technically, it’s not raising your body temperature, it’s just constricting you blood vessels, but the effect is a feeling of warmth and that alone is enough to get you through a harsh walk through the snow — which is why St. Bernards used to be equipped with a payload of liquor for any potential rescuees to make use of.

[-] DUI!


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The absolute end-all be-all of the reasons to moderate and drink safely — the DUI. We can’t stress the stupidity of drinking driving well enough; it’s monumentally stupid, dangerous, and it can easily cost you much more than your license and the $1,000 average minimum cost for getting nailed for one of these things. Do everyone a favor and either call a cab, or wear some good walking shoes and hoof it.

[+] The Economy Chain


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Last, but certainly not least, is the effect alcohol has on the entire economy. Sound a bit outlandish? It’s not, and the point was pretty well-proven almost a century ago when Prohibition failed miserably. Alcohol is more than just some bottles of beer at the grocery store that fill your fridge to get you drunk later. It involves breweries, distributorships, licensing, bars and bartenders, and all the myriad folks who help make bars happen (think cola distributors, music machines, even the napkins). A lot goes into getting the alcohol from the distillery to your glass, and it all makes a difference. This stuff’s been around for quite some time now; it’s ingrained into every facet of our culture and it won’t be going away.

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