^
Keep New Times Free
4

Scientists Show That A Single Sip of Beer Can Make Men Feel Happier

Sure, we all know that at the end of the day, a cold beer can be the key to happiness. But it turns out, you might not necessariuly have to drink the whole thing in order to achieve that effect.

See also: - 24 Legitimately Fascinating Facts About Beer

A study published yesterday in the the journal Neuropsychopharmacology has shown that you don't actually need to get drunk in order to trigger a release of feel-good chemicals in the brain. A group of researchers led by David Kareken of Indiana University found that even a tiny amount of beer -- as in, not nearly enough to cause intoxication -- can cause changes in brain chemistry.

Scientists chose 49 male participants (average age 25) with varying levels of typical alcohol consumption and family history of alcoholism. They gave each a small taste of both beer and, as controls, water or Gatorade. They used an automated system to spray about a half an ounce of beer on the participants tongue to ensure the subjects didn't get intoxicated.

The results showed that just the taste of beer -- that lovely combination of hops and malt -- significantly affected brain chemistry within minutes. When the men tasted beer it triggered a release of higher levels of dopamine, as in the chemical associated with sleep, sex and other drugs.

I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Phoenix and help keep the future of New Times free.

The level released however, wasn't random. Based on surveys filled out by the participants, those with a family history of alcoholism were much more affected by the taste of beer. Even compared to those who would be considered heavy drinkers. Researchers say this could be a key to understanding why some people struggle so much with addiction.

If you're curious for some more information about how alcohol affects the brain, check out this great video. It explains why it's considered a "depressant" because it suppresses neural activity but also causes extreme focus on certain thoughts.

Follow Chow Bella on Facebook and Twitter and Pinterest.

Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.

 

Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.