If you’re like me, you love to drink. But if you’re also like me, sometimes drinking can lead to unexpected gagging. It’s not the most pleasant thing in the world, and it can be embarrassing. After all, who wants to be that guy or girl who is happily sipping on a cocktail one minute and then retching uncontrollably the next?
Well fear no more my fellow vomit-phobes! Today we are going to explore why exactly this happens (and how we can avoid it).
What causes alcohol-induced gag reflex?
The moment when your throat goes into spasms as soon as alcohol hits your tongue seems simple enough but there’s actually quite a lot of science behind it… well sort of…
First off – let’s start with our old pal ethanol. Ethanol is a type of alcohol found in beverages such as beer, wine and spirits (not hand sanitizer) . When we consume drinks containing ethanol – which depending on what booze-makin’ method used by different manufacturers has differing qualities -such as taste , potency , texture etc- is absorbed through bloodstream taking advantage of its ability to cross cell membranes freely.
As blood flow increases throughout body parts areas such as brain starts getting affected depending on dosage(upshot being varied degrees signs ranging from mild mood alterations (relaxation)to large-scale neuroeffects (slurred speech , memory loss))).
After consumptionethanol travels down sitmulating saliva production triggering X1G receptors present especially near pharynx stimulating swallowing response via pharyngeal constrictors upon reaching above certain concentrations even drop/barf ratio arises due tocNPC(fancy word for chemoreceptor trigger zone) located in another partof brain near medulla oblongata thus activating sympathetic nervous system rerouting signals from stomach region directly towards diaphragm and esophagus shaft.
Simply put – ethanol triggers our gag reflex when it reaches certain concentrations in the blood.
Why is my gag trigger so sensitive?
Now why do we have different tolerances to how much alcohol can be safely consumed without vomiting? First of all, let’s establish that everybody’s sensitivity levels vary – being “ light headed after two or three drinks might well sustain at just four or five for others particularly if genetics has a say.
Various environmental factors, such as stress, fatigue etc play an active role towards levels of tolerance but
ultimately it comes down to what types of receptors proliferate(as majority population traitor some specific subtypes appear depending on ethnicity) in every individual adding more drama queens” than necessary-which has been proven time and again.
So there you have it! You may just be unlucky enough to be born with too many sensitivity receptors!!
But seriously though: onset speed , drinking rate , water-replenishing pattern also adds to intoxication status triggering elevation / drop spiral mechanism resulting into unsuccessful efforts aiming towards “feeling better”- thus full on vomit sessions being inevitable! So control yourself people!
How can I avoid the dreaded alcoholic heave-ho!
Although everyone will likely experience this uncomfortable sensation once or twice in their life (..ahem daily drinkers excluded here), knowing what causes it can help us prevent its occurrence.
Here are some tips:
- Know your limits – this one should go without saying.
- Stay hydrated – not only does water keep you from becoming dehydrated which brings about those nasty hangovers among other things(holy hell try waking up everything hurts!) drinking adequate amount sporadically helps balance out electrolytes thereby maintaining stable extracellular fluid levels preventing quick buzzes followed by epic fallouts- Not cool!
- Don’t sip through straw esp longer ones-forcing large amounts of alcohol straight into your mouth is a sure way to send your gag into overdrive…
- Stick with drinks you know and love! (duh!) Trying out new exotic flavors that might not sit right inside, like pina coladas or something stomach churning – say a rum punch for example- will almost certainly end up being returned to the sender within minutes.
- Steer clear of carbonated alcoholic beverages if possible as both trigger gaseous bacchanles which necessitate burps rumbles that mix in horrifying proportions!
- Last but not least: Take it easy on the mixing and drinking pace people – no need for rushing.. take deep breaths try slowing down -at least until you’re well vroom’d up!
So there we go folks! Mystery solved, hangovers avoided(eh atleast some).
The next time you feel that involuntary reflex come on after taking a sip from your glass remember this-sensitivity levels differ, factors play an active role towards everyone’s tolerances but ultimately knowing what triggers us will help control those nasty unwanted symptoms indefinitely.
Be smart about how much alcohol you consume so life can be enjoyed without the presence of boakings—and don’t forget…drink responsibly (and make sure those around are safe too)!!
Hey there, I’m Dane Raynor, and I’m all about sharing fascinating knowledge, news, and hot topics. I’m passionate about learning and have a knack for simplifying complex ideas. Let’s explore together!
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