Happy Margarita Day–a day when the combination of tequila, triple sec and lime juice are celebrated for, from what I can gather, the sole reason to have an excuse to start getting sloshed by noon without the guilt or sideways glances from strangers usually reserved for pre-lunch imbibing.
If you’re a Hormonology fan and are planning to celebrate this booze-fueled holiday by heading out to a bar, party or other destination to appreciate the joys of this frozen, salted beverage, you might be curious if alcohol makes you drunker at any point in your monthly cycle.
And you wouldn’t be the only one asking this question.
Truth is, many researchers have spent a lot of time trying find a connection between alcohol’s inebriating effect and the menstrual cycle. (I have a thoroughly unproven theory that they’re just looking for a bunch of free “research” booze. Alcohol can get pretty pricey, after all.)
However, despite their many analyses, there hasn’t yet been any evidence that conclusively shows women get any more sloshed from alcohol during a particular phase of their monthly cycle–clearly to the researchers’ dismay because they keep saucing up female volunteers to re-confirm this.
Despite those disappointing results, there have been two findings about alcohol and your menstrual cycle that you might find interesting:
1. You’re likely to guzzle a larger quantity of alcohol and enjoy its effects more during your premenstrual week than during other weeks of your cycle, according to a 2011 study in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence. The researchers theorize we turn to alcohol to lessen the pain and moodiness of plunging estrogen.
2. Your decision-making skills may get more impaired by alcohol during the first half of your cycle (your Week 1 and Week 2) than during the second half (your Week 3 and Week 4), according to a 2012 study published in Behavioural Pharmacology–though the researchers aren’t sure why and more research needs to be done to explore it. (No doubt another research team is probably already applying for grants–and reserving a few cases of their favorite liquor at the package store–to further examine this important topic.)
Tip: Thinking of drowning your premenstrual troubles during Happy Hour? Keep these facts in mind:
Plunging estrogen is making you more sensitive to aches and pains. This means that the hangover you get from overindulging that wouldn’t be so bad during your high estrogen Week 2 could have you wincing in pain when a mere butterfly flaps its wings as it passes by during your premenstrual Week 4.
And since alcohol is a depressant, that down premenstrual mood you were trying to chase away could come back double after alcohol’s mood-numbing effects wear off. So, if you’re going to order cocktails, try to stick to a healthy limit.
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