Frequently Asked Questions!
Alcohol is generated when fruits, vegetables or grains are fermented - that is, when yeasts or bacteria ferment the sugars of the original food product and convert them into alcohol. The chemical name of alcohol in alcoholic beverages is ethanol, which is a colorless liquid lighter than water - one milliliter weighs about 0.8 grams. The amount of alcohol present in different fermented products varies greatly. The percentage of alcohol in a typical beer is around 5% whereas in wines and spirits, these percentages are approximately 12% and 35%, respectively. Alcoholic beverages also contain energy (calories) from alcohol (30 kilojoules per gram). The nutritional value of most alcoholic beverages is very low because they contain little protein, fat or other nutrients. Some drinks, such as beer, contain sugars and carbohydrates, as well as some B vitamins, micronutrients and minerals.
Alcohol affects us all differently and even having just one or two drinks can affect you. Alcohol speeds up your pulse and breathing, dehydrates your body as it increases the frequency to urinate, reduces your ability to concentrate, coordinate movements or blurs your vision. Even the slightest amount of alcohol increases your likeliness to make mistakes and judgment errors. Your ability to drive a car or any other vehicle safely can be impaired at blood alcohol levels well below the legal limit. Safe driving requires good vision, common sense and fast reaction times. Alcohol affects all three. If you drink and drive, you run the risk of killing or hurting yourself and others. The safest approach for those who want to drive is simply not to drink. Drinking too much and too often can cause a number of social, psychological and medical problems, including alcohol addiction.
As global brewers, we believe that if you will be drinking beer, you will do it in moderation, at the right time, in the right place and for the right reasons. There are also situations where you should not drink alcohol, although government legislation or guidelines may allow its limited consumption. Many governments and individual health authorities provide daily or weekly guidance on the number of alcohol units that can be consumed. In some of our markets, we include this information on our product labels. There are clear health and behavior risks associated with alcohol abuse over a prolonged period or on single occasions. Cultural attitudes, religious beliefs and legislation can influence drinking behavior, but ultimately people decide for themselves whether they will drink or not and how much they will drink. If people consume alcohol inappropriately, they become a potential danger to themselves and others.
There are certain situations where it is better not to drink, even if government legislation or guidelines may allow limited consumption, namely when:
- Driving or intending to do so
- At work, especially when the job involves the use of complex or hazardous materials or machines or requires serious concentration
- Pregnant or trying to get pregnant
- Under legal age to drink or buy alcohol
- Unable to control the amount you drink
- Advised by your doctor
As global brewers, we believe that if you will drink beer, you will always drink in moderation, at the right time, in the right place and for the right reasons. If people consume alcohol inappropriately, they become a potential danger to themselves and others.
Blood alcohol content (BAC) is determined by the rate at which alcohol is absorbed from the intestines into the blood and by the rate at which alcohol is decomposed by the liver. BAC is affected by several other factors. For example, if you drink alcohol with your meal this helps reduce blood alcohol levels. The level of alcohol in your blood depends on how many drinks you had, the speed at which you drink, your weight and gender - not how often you drink. The same alcohol consumption leads to lower levels of BAC in men than in women. On average men are heavier and have a relatively higher percentage of body fluid. Women metabolize alcohol more slowly than men, meaning that it stays longer in their system. Although the speed of decomposition can vary considerably among people, on average, the liver can decompose about eight grams of alcohol per hour.
The simple answer is yes. The same alcohol consumed by men and women leads to lower BAC in men than in women. On average men are heavier and have a relatively higher percentage of body fluid. Women metabolize alcohol more slowly than men, meaning that it stays longer in their system. Consequently, the same amount of alcohol will have a greater physical impact on women than on men, even when differences in body weight are taken into account.
For pregnant women or those intending to become pregnant it is safer not to drink alcoholic beverages. When pregnant women drink, alcohol is not only transported to all their organs and tissues, but also reaches the placenta and crosses the membrane that separates the blood systems of the mother and child. So when a mother drinks, the baby drinks too. Several behavioral, physical and developmental disorders have been associated with alcohol consumption during pregnancy, the most serious of which is Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, caused by chronic alcohol use during pregnancy. There is not enough evidence to establish a safe amount of alcohol consumption during pregnancy. So, the safest approach is not to drink at all.
A full stomach slows the passage of alcohol into the large intestine and can modify its absorption. If you drink after eating, the effects of alcohol will take longer to show and blood alcohol concentration will not increase as quickly as when you drink on an empty stomach.
Pure coffee, a cold bath or fresh air will do nothing to counteract the physical effects of alcohol. They may actually make you feel better, but only time can remove alcohol from your bloodstream.
Minors have no experience with drinking and do not know their own limits. Drinking too much during puberty can affect the development of the brain, liver and hormonal system. Different countries define alcohol consumption by minors in different ways, mainly depending on the legal age of purchase. People under the legal age to buy and/or drink should not buy or consume alcohol.
More often than not, an excessive night of drinking leads to an uncomfortable morning. The decomposition of alcohol in the body turns it into substances that have an unpleasant effect. Alcohol irritates the human body in many different ways, but above all it suppresses the activity of the hormone that inhibits the secretion of urine. As a result, you need to go to the bathroom more often when you drink, losing liquids and becoming dehydrated. It is no surprise, then, that you wake up in the morning feeling bad: probably with a headache, but possibly also with nausea, tremors and certainly with a dry mouth and intense thirst.
Alcohol acetate produced mainly in the liver leads to depression in the central nervous system, affecting a person's behavior, namely lack of inhibition, decreased problem-solving ability, emotional changes, depression or agitation. It also affects memory and motor functions, such as slower response times. In increasing amounts, this can lead to accidents or contribute to inappropriate decision-making, violence or unwanted pregnancy. Severe acute alcohol intoxication due to excessive alcohol consumption can lead to seizures, coma or death. In adults, in general, there is a J-shaped association between alcohol intake and mortality. This means that low to moderate alcohol drinkers have a lower risk of death than people who do not drink, as well as a lower risk than consumers who drink large amounts of alcohol. Chronic alcohol abuse can cause liver diseases ranging from mild disorders, such as steatosis, to serious life-threatening diseases, such as cirrhosis. The cardiovascular system is one of the organ systems most impacted by alcohol consumption. Population-based studies show that moderate alcohol consumption has a protective effect. This effect is found in men and women and is not related to the type of alcoholic beverage. The consumption of large amounts of alcohol leads, for example, to hypertension and a higher risk of cardiovascular diseases. Moderate alcohol consumption is also reported to protect against diabetes and dementia. There is a relationship between alcohol and certain types of cancer. For example, a higher risk of breast cancer and esophageal cancer is related to alcohol consumption and the risks increase with increased consumption.
Alcohol addiction is a syndrome characterized by the physical and psychological dependence on alcohol. This means that alcohol addicts begin to exhibit physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms when they stop drinking, interfering with their daily life, both at work and at home. Individuals who have trouble controlling their alcohol intake should speak to a doctor and not drink at all.