Find happy hours and drink specials anywhere you are

Science: The Taste of Beer Makes Your Brain Happy

by The Drink Nation on Apr 18, 2013 in Culture
Science: The Taste of Beer Makes Your Brain Happy

Ahhhhh. That first sip of beer after a long day is one of the best feelings in the world. Researchers have found a scientific explanation for why just a tiny taste can make you feel so good, way before any alcohol kicks in.

A report published this week in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology (nice name) showed that as little as 15 milliliters of beer caused test subjects’ brains to release dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with pleasure. At that low volume, there’s no chance that enough alcohol is entering the blood to cause tipsiness — it’s just the taste causing the “feel good” chemical to be generated.

In the experiment, PET scanners measured brain chemistry as the tongues of 49 adult men were spritzed with half an ounce of either beer, water or Gatorade. When the men tasted beer, each of their brains generated much more dopamine than with either of the control substances. This was the case no matter if they were occasional, regular or heavy drinkers.

There was variation in the amount of dopamine released, however. People who reported a family history of alcoholism showed measurably higher levels after just a small taste, perhaps providing a biochemical explanation for why some people find it much harder to resist alcohol cravings.

via Smithsonian Magazine

Photo by Danya Henninger

Recent Articles
spacer

Feedback

How are we doing? Tell us what you like or don't like and how we can improve. We would love to hear your thoughts!

*Name:
*E-mail:
*Suggestions:
 
Coopers' Craft Bourbon Is Now Available in 12 States With a New Barrel Reserve Expression

Coopers' Craft Bourbon Is Now Available in 12 States With a New Barrel Reserve Expression

Coopers' Craft Kentucky Straight Bourbon has debuted an entirely new label design, has expanded to more states...read more ›

by The Drink Nation Apr 3, 2019
Where to Drink Bourbon in D.C.

Where to Drink Bourbon in D.C.

Where to drink bourbon? Check out our top picks below for places to sip the barrel aged spirit....read more ›

by Lanna Nguyen Apr 2, 2019
Welcome Warmer Weather in D.C. with These Spring Cocktails

Welcome Warmer Weather in D.C. with These Spring Cocktails

Spring is in bloom and in DC that means the welcome of cherry blossoms and spring-inspired cocktails on seasonal drink menus. ...read more ›

by Lanna Nguyen Mar 19, 2019
SPONSORED
Find happy hours and drink specials anywhere you are
PBR is Making Its Own Whiskey For the Perfect Shot & Beer Combo

PBR is Making Its Own Whiskey For the Perfect Shot & Beer Combo

Pabst Blue Ribbon has filed documents to create its very own whiskey, making for the perfect shot & beer combo....read more ›

by Drink Philly Mar 18, 2019
Behind the Bar: Tory Pratt of Pratt Standard

Behind the Bar: Tory Pratt of Pratt Standard

In this edition of Behind the Bar, we chatted with Tory Pratt, the founder of Pratt Standard....read more ›

by The Drink Nation Mar 7, 2019
D.C.'s Best Beer Bars

D.C.'s Best Beer Bars

Where's the best place to get your brew on? From beer gardens to bars, here are some of our favorite spots to knock back a few pints....read more ›

by Lanna Nguyen Mar 5, 2019
Acclaimed Director Ridley Scott Has Made Seven Short Films for Hennessy X.O.

Acclaimed Director Ridley Scott Has Made Seven Short Films for Hennessy X.O.

Ridley Scott has directed a four-minute short film for Hennessy X.O. visualizing the seven flavors of the high...read more ›

by The Drink Nation Mar 4, 2019
Behind the Bar: Chris Morris, Master Distiller of Woodford Reserve

Behind the Bar: Chris Morris, Master Distiller of Woodford Reserve

On this edition of Behind the Bar, we had the honor to sit down with Chris Morris, the master distiller at Woo...read more ›

by The Drink Nation Feb 28, 2019
Neighborhood Bar Crawl: H Street

Neighborhood Bar Crawl: H Street

From Asian street food and ramen to cocktail dens, H Street has a mix of it all. Check out some of our top spots to visit when dining and drinking at ...read more ›

by Lanna Nguyen Feb 19, 2019
Haagen-Dazs is Making Booze-Infused Ice Cream

Haagen-Dazs is Making Booze-Infused Ice Cream

Step aside, after dinner drinks - Haagen-Dazs is releasing a line of spiked ice cream....read more ›

by The Drink Nation Feb 19, 2019
SPONSORED
View all Articles

Sign up to get weekly drinking news, bar reviews, events and more sent directly to your inbox!

Close