Why does alcohol work?

When you drink alcohol, roughly 20% is absorbed straight from your stomach into your bloodstream. The other 80% is taken up from your small intestine. This explains why eating before you drink can slow down the effects of alcohol, if your tummy is full of food, it’s harder for the alcohol to end up by the stomach walls, where it can be absorbed. It’s also why drinking on an empty stomach can have such a speedy effect, 20% of the alcohol gets STRAIGHT into your bloodstream, and straight to work.

And how DOES it work? Well, in short it tries to sloooooow your brain down. Nerve cells in your brain, and indeed in your arms and legs and everywhere else you’ve got nerves, pass messages along themselves via action potentials. However, action potentials can’t simply leap from one nerve cell to another, when they reach the end of a nerve cell they need a go-between. These go-betweens, these molecular messengers, are neurotransmitters.  When an action potential arrives at the end of the nerve, the synapse, this triggers a flood of neurotransmitter molecules to be released, like a hoard of tiny very very efficient postmen, delivering messages to the nearby nerve cells. 

When alcohol is in your brain, it sneakily PRETENDS to be a postman; it binds to the receptors that usually receive messages from neurotransmitters. Broadly speaking, if it binds to a receptor that usually receives exciting messages and gets motivated and gets things done, then it inhibits it; it blocks the getting-things-done messages. If it binds to a receptor that usually slows things down, however, it simply encourages it to slow things down even further. Alcohol just wants your brain to live life at a slower pace.

Read The Full Article  here How Alcohol Effects Work

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