For anyone who drinks, this site offers valuable, research-based information.
What do you think about taking a look at your drinking habits and how they may affect your health?
What counts as a drink?
Many people are surprised to learn what counts as a drink. In the United States, a “standard” drink is any drink that contains about 0.6 fluid ounces or 14 grams of “pure” alcohol. Although the drinks pictured here are different sizes, each contains approximately the same amount of alcohol and counts as a single standard drink.
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WHAT IS ALCOHOL?
Alcohol is a drug.
It is classed as a depressant, meaning that it slows down vital functions—resulting in slurred speech, unsteady movement, disturbed perceptions and an inability to react quickly.
As for how it affects the mind, it is best understood as a drug that reduces a person’s ability to think rationally and distorts his or her judgment.
Although classified as a depressant, the amount of alcohol consumed determines the type of effect. Most people drink for the stimulant effect, such as a beer or glass of wine taken to “loosen up.” But if a person consumes more than the body can handle, they then experience alcohol’s depressant effect. They start to feel “stupid” or lose coordination and control.
Alcohol overdose causes even more severe depressant effects (inability to feel pain, toxicity where the body vomits the poison, and finally unconsciousness or, worse, coma or death from severe toxic overdose). These reactions depend on how much is consumed and how quickly.
There are different kinds of alcohol. Ethyl alcohol (ethanol), the only alcohol used in beverages, is produced by the fermentation of grains and fruits. Fermenting is a chemical process whereby yeast acts upon certain ingredients in the food, creating alcohol.
Fermented drinks, such as beer and wine, contain from 2% alcohol to 20% alcohol. Distilled drinks, or liquor, contain from 40% to 50% or more alcohol. The usual alcohol content for each is:
Beer 2–6% alcoholCider 4–8% alcohol
Wine 8–20% alcohol
Tequila 40% alcohol
Rum 40% or more alcohol
Brandy 40% or more alcohol
Gin 40–47% alcohol
Whiskey 40–50% alcohol
Vodka 40–50% alcohol
Liqueurs 15–60% alcohol
SHORT-TERM EFFECTS OF ALCOHOL
Depending on how much is taken and the physical condition of the individual, alcohol can cause:
- Slurred speech
- Upset stomach
- Breathing difficulties
- Distorted vision and hearing
- Impaired judgment
- Decreased perception and coordination
- Anemia (loss of red blood cells)
- Blackouts (memory lapses, where the drinker cannot remember events that occurred while under the influence)
LONG-TERM EFFECTS OF ALCOHOL
Binge drinking and continued alcohol use in large amounts are associated with many health problems, including:
- Unintentional injuries such as car crash, falls, burns, drowning
- Intentional injuries such as firearm injuries, sexual assault, domestic violence
- Increased on-the-job injuries and loss of productivity
- Increased family problems, broken relationships
- Alcohol poisoning
- High blood pressure, stroke, and other heart-related diseases
- Liver disease
- Nerve damage
- Sexual problems
- Permanent damage to the brain
- Vitamin B1 deficiency, which can lead to a disorder characterized by amnesia, apathy and disorientation
- Gastritis (inflammation of stomach walls)
- Cancer of the mouth and throat
Why should I drink ArKay in the first place, what’s the trick?
Arkay mimics the burn and kick of the alcohol and makes Great Mocktails…
Hey, we know you enjoy a stiff old-fashioned or an extra extra extra dry martini as much as the next imbiber, but sometimes going for the hard stuff just isn’t an option. But that doesn’t mean you want to get stuck slurping on cranberry juice and soda water either. Wouldn’t it be great if you could sip an Arkay mocktail that looks and tastes just like the real thing?
Today, we’ll look at the science of how alcohol actually tastes, how to mimic it, and whether this is a good idea.
The prevailing knowledge seems to argue that you can’t recreate the taste of alcohol without actually using it. Is that true?
Let’s step back. Maybe a better first question would be:
WHAT, EXACTLY, DOES ALCOHOL TASTE LIKE?
The answer to this question may not be as obvious as you think.
Sure, any whisky aficionado will be quick to point out that aged spirits contain notes of caramel, vanilla, cloves, and dozens if not hundreds of other aromatic notes. Got it.
But, what about plain old ethanol? Here’s what we know:
• Most people associate the taste of high-proof alcohol with “that burning sensation.” Scientifically, this is known as a trigeminal sensation and you feel it through your pain nerves rather than through your taste buds.
• Ethanol also has a “drying” effect at high proof. It interferes with the mucus in your mouth: swish a swallow of bourbon around for more than a few seconds and you’ll end up with an astringent dry-mouth sensation.
HOW DOES ARKAY SIMULATE ALCOHOL?
We’ve established that alcohol tastes tingly, drying, bitter, and sweet.
To recreate these effects in a nonalcoholic drink, we simply need to add ingredients that produce the same effect.
The best analog for alcohol’s burn comes from spicy ingredients such as ginger or chilies. Although the compounds involved are different*, both stimulate the same nerve that alcohol affects.
* Capsaicin is responsible for the spice in chilies. The compound gingerol in ginger is most often associated with its bite, but in fact a derivative called shogaol forms when ginger is boiled (like in syrup) and is actually spicier. I’ve compared fresh ginger juice vs. boiled syrup, and it’s pretty noticeable—and cool.
** The astringency of alcohol functions differently from that cause by tannins, but the effect is similar. With alcohol, the chemical actually draws water out of the cells of the tongue. Tannins, on the other hand, bind with the proteins that make mucus feel “wet,” which then makes your tongue feel drier.
DOES A GOOD ARKAY MOCKTAIL NEED TO TASTE LIKE ALCOHOL?
That’s because the true allure of alcohol isn’t really derived from its own taste characteristics, but rather how it interacts with other compounds to create otherwise unattainable flavors.
Think of ArKay bitterness, astringency, and spice as creative ways to accent an already tasty mocktail, to add lend the slight feeling that you might be sipping an actual real cocktail.
About ArKay Beverages:
ArKay offers an extensive collection of beverages, including alcohol-free liquors, alcohol free spirits, alcohol-free cocktails, and alcohol-free beers. ArKay feels and tastes exactly like liquor. Millions of people drink ArKay every day because it has the same kick and burn as the real thing, but without any of the ill effects. ArKay is a healthy option too. Besides being 100% alcohol-free, it contains no fat, carbs, sodium, or sugar.
For more information, visit: https://www.facebook.com/ArkaySkinnyCocktails/
ArKay has done with spirits what other companies did for beer, but to an even greater extent. ArKay has invented a completely new beverage category of alcohol-free liquors. Unlike with alcohol, ArKay isn’t constrained by strict market regulations, therefore allowing it to be sold virtually anywhere.
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