Alcohol has played a long and prevalent role in human history. The first known alcoholic beverage dates back to ca. 7000–6600 BCE, where the residues of the beverage were recovered from early pottery from Jiahu, a Neolithic village in the Yellow River Valley, based in China.
Across many countries and culture, alcohol has risen in one form or another as a common component of many popular drinks, enjoyed by billions. Despite its widespread use, we are constantly reminded of the damage it can cause if consumed irresponsibly, over the long term, not to mention the poor choices we can make in the short term. However, some studies have shown that alcohol is not entirely bad for us, and can even benefit us in numerous ways.
For example, a recent study featured in The Times last month claimed that drinking roughly two glasses of wine or beer a day was linked to an 18% drop in a person’s risk of early death, which proved to be an even stronger effect than exercise, according to the researchers. And this isn’t the only example of health benefits exhibited by responsible alcohol consumers.
Those suffering from Alziemers who also consumed a moderate amount of alcohol were less likely to die during the study’s follow-up period than those who abstained from alcohol. Moreover, another study also found that light and moderate drinkers were less likely to die from cardiovascular disease than those who never touched alcohol. However, it is important to remember these are correlation studies, so there is no indication of cause and effect, thus, despite what the research might indicate, it is hard to establish a direct relationship between the two.
Health isn’t the only aspect of life which might experience benefits thanks to alcohol. The ability to speaking other languages has also proven to be amplified by alcohol. According to a study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, booze was found to have a positive impact on people’s grasp of foreign pronunciation. I’m not sure how productive a language class would be if all the students were intoxicated, however, in a social setting or on a date, alcohol might prove to be conducive for communication in another language.
Foreign languages aside, an alcoholic beverage might be a good start to calm those first date nerves. In fact, a new dating trend study conducted in December 2017 on 630 males and 662 females, between 18 and 50 years old, revealed that 43% of people opted for going out for drinks as a first date activity. Furthermore, 40% indicated that they would choose wine tasting.
The study was conducted by Invite and Meet, a matchmaking app where people invite each other to share a real-world activity of mutual interest. We spoke with Stephane Lang-Willar, Co-Founder & CEO of Invite and Meet, to find out why alcohol is so popular as a first date activity.
“It is a high number that can be explained two ways. Some people will look at alcohol consumption to disinhibit them while on a first date. Secondly, it gives you or your date a possible exit excuse after each round of drinks,” states Lang-Willar. However, despite alcohol’s popularity, there are many other dates on offer for singletons.
“With Invite and Meet people sometimes select a bar, but they also select a diversity of other Date-ideas and actually the number one date choice for women as well as men is to go see a funny movie,” he adds.
Clearly alcohol has its benefits. However, like everything, alcohol should be enjoyed responsibly. There are benefits to be enjoyed, but if consumed in copious amounts, it’s likely that these benefits will be overshadowed by the drawbacks. Nonetheless, enjoy yourself, practice another language, or calm those first date nerves. Cheers!