Does lining your stomach really stop you getting too drunk? Get the facts straight : Evewoman - The Standard


Does lining your stomach really stop you getting too drunk? Get the facts straight

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Some of our earliest lessons in responsible drinking are in fact a bit of a myth

"You must line your stomach before you go out": It's an order many of our parents drummed into us during our first, tentative teenage forays in drinking alcohol.

There was no leaving the house for a night out without a proper (often stodgy ) meal.

As adults, we have the occasional slip-up, but it's a piece of wisdom we all remember and try to implement as much as we can.

There's a huge amount of helpful advice available online too on what's best to eat to minimise your chance of getting too drunk. After all, taxi cleaning charges are pretty steep.

But lining your stomach with a big meal before drink can help to reduce the risk of getting drunk is one the biggest (and most surprising) alcohol myths.

So, were our parents lying to us all this time?

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Well, yes and no.

Whilst a hearty meal does not prevent getting drunk, according to the NHS , "drinking on a full stomach before you go out will delay alcohol getting into your system."

Drinking to excess

If you drink to excess though, inebriation will still happen

The meal does delay the rate at which any alcohol you drink is absorbed, but if you're going on to drink a lot, then it doesn't protect you from intoxication.

That's not to say, however, our parents were totally wrong. The NHS still does advise eating a proper meal before a night out - " especially foods rich in carbohydrates and proteins."

Filmed for the BBC 1 TV series The Truth Behind Alcohol , it took two people for a night out - one who had lined their stomach with food in advance and another who hadn't.

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Both of them then drank a single large glass of white wine - but host Javid Abdelmoneim , an A&E doctor, had eaten a plate of roast chicken and vegetables beforehand.

Furthermore, Javid also ate what was comically described as a 'high tech hors-d'oeuvre' -swallowing a pill cam so that viewers could see the inside of his stomach.

In what was described as "the best dinner party trick ever" he was able to show the inside of his empty stomach as the pill broadcasted to a TV screen set up on the dinner table.

As the helpful graphics in the video show - the idea behind lining your stomach is to do with the fact alcohol is mostly absorbed not while it is in the stomach, but once it reaches the small intestine.

If your stomach is full of food, then the alcohol is held up and takes longer to get into your system; Javid was even able to show the chewed up broccoli in his stomach on the TV screen.

They then both downed the glass of wine and throughout the evening they also breathalysed themselves to see how their results compared.

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