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Scientists have calculated how long the brain recovers after drinking
Alcohol acts quickly on the brain, as most of us know. But not much is known about how the brain recovers after drinking and how long it takes. Cognitive functions take a long time to return to normal.
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Alcohol acts quickly on the brain, as most of us know. But not much is known about how the brain recovers after drinking and how long it takes. All cognitive functions take a long time to return to normal.
Scientists from the British University of Bath (University of Bath) analyzed a number of studies that examined brain disorders on the second day after drinking alcohol. The authors looked at hourly changes in brain function. With a few exceptions, all of these studies have shown that our cognitive abilities, such as attention and memory, remain impaired even when blood alcohol levels are no longer measurable. The research results were published in the journal Addiction.
"A decrease in these abilities implies a decrease in concentration, focus, memory, and a decrease in reaction time," says study author Craig Gunn of the University of Bath psychology department.
Scientists have examined how our bodies and brains resist the physiological effects that accompany heavy alcohol abuse. In the United States, this is defined as more than four standard drinks for women and five for men. The standard dose of an alcoholic beverage contains approximately 14 ml of pure alcohol.
Alcohol is a powerful diuretic that causes the body to lose a lot of fluids, up to four times more than it drank while drinking, leading to dehydration. To compensate for the loss of fluid, the body's organs attract as much fluid as they can, causing the brain to become dehydrated. As a result, the meninges practically shrinks.
As all this fluid is excreted from the body, magnesium, potassium, sodium and other nutrients necessary for the stable functioning of the brain's cognitive functions are also flushed out. And washed out nutrients are not immediately replaced with new ones after alcohol leaves the body, and depleted membranes are not immediately restored either. Recovery from an ethyl alcohol attack takes time.
The brain will not be able to get in shape for many more hours, in some cases it lasts more than one day. Until that happens, attention, memory, reaction time, and decision-making power will not work at full capacity. The results of the study show that it is completely unrealistic to go back to your business as usual and work as usual.
“Our results show that hangovers can have serious consequences for daily activities such as professional skills, driving skills, concentration and memory,” says lead study author Sally Adams of the University of Bath.
The study offers two main findings. The most obvious is that drinking too much is just a bad idea for many reasons, including the price our brains and bodies have to pay. And, secondly, it would be foolish to think that we can tolerate drinking without serious consequences, which are not limited to headaches and nausea.
In other words, drinking alcohol affects a person over a long period of time. This is not only the time while he is drunk, but also the time it takes to recuperate, and our brain regenerates more slowly than we think.