It is guaranteed to raise a cheer among those who enjoy a tipple: moderate drinkers are better thinkers than teetotallers or those who overindulge.
Research by the Australian National University in Canberra suggests drinking in moderation boost your brainpower. But none at all, or too much, can make you a dullard.
A study of 7,000 people in their early 20s, 40s and 60s found that those who drank within safe limits had better verbal skills, memory and speed of thinking than those at the extremes of the drinking spectrum. The safe consumption level was considered to be 14 to 28 standard drinks a week for a man and seven to 14 for a woman.
I can speak from experience here, and the study is absolutely correct.
When do I do my best writing? In the evening, after dinner.
When do I have cocktails? In the evening, after dinner.
How many cocktails do I have in the evening after dinner? Rarely more than two.
How many cocktails does that work out to in a week? 14 to 28.
What the study leaves out – because it wasn’t germaine – is that different types of alcohol effect writing differently. Hard alcohol (vodka, scotch, and gin being my preferred poisons) can actually help the writing process. Wine, even in trivial amounts, seems to hurt it. And moderate beer drinking has no effect at all.
Also note that three cocktails and good writing goes out the window. However, cocktail #3 is usually when my pool game is elevated to “better than mediocre.” So it should come as no surprise that I never write about pool.
All of which leaves out the question: How do different types of drinks effect activities other than writing?
Pick one: Beer, wine, or liquor, and tell me which activity one or two drinks seems to help you or hurt you. Leaves your responses in the Comments section.