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Is Tequilla a stimulant?


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#1 Erin007

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Posted 22 November 2006 - 11:33 PM

Hello there...

I've been told that tequilla is the only alcohol that's a stimulant, not a depressant. I have been all over the internet trying to confirm if this is true. Does anyone know? And if it is true...why? Is it metabolized differently? Does it have an ingredient other alcoholic beverages don't have?

I even sent an email to Jose Cuervo in my search. They wrote back saying they were not aware alcohol is a depressant or that tequilla differs from other beverages in this regard. I thought that was funny.

Thank you!! Have a great holiday.

Erin

#2 Morpheus

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Posted 23 November 2006 - 01:15 AM

It is well documented that alcohol is a depressant. Any stimulant effects of the agave would be rendered moot due to the overwhelming percentage of alcohol.

#3 doctoragave

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Posted 23 November 2006 - 01:57 AM

It is well documented that alcohol is a depressant. Any stimulant effects of the agave would be rendered moot due to the overwhelming percentage of alcohol.


Morpheus nailed it right on the head. Courtesy of the Wikipedia, here is more for you:

Pure ethanol is a tasteless liquid with a strong and distinctive odor that produces a characteristic heat-like sensation when brought into contact with the tongue or mucous membranes. When applied to open wounds (as for disinfection) it produces a strong stinging sensation. Pure or highly concentrated ethanol may permanently damage living tissue on contact. Ethanol applied to unbroken skin cools the skin rapidly through evaporation.

In the human body, ethanol is first oxidized to acetaldehyde, and then to acetic acid. The first step is catalysed by the enzyme alcohol dehydrogenase, and the second by acetaldehyde dehydrogenase. Some individuals have less effective forms of one or both of these enzymes, and can experience more severe symptoms from ethanol consumption than others. Conversely, those who have acquired ethanol tolerance have a greater quantity of these enzymes, and metabolize ethanol more rapidly.

The amount of ethanol in the body is typically quanitified by blood alcohol content (BAC), the milligrams of ethanol per 100 milliliters of blood. The table below summarizes the symptoms of ethanol consumption. Small doses of ethanol generally produce euphoria and relaxation; people experiencing these symptoms tend to become talkative and less inhibited, and may exhibit poor judgment. At higher dosages (BAC > 0.10), ethanol acts as a central nervous system depressant, producing at progressively higher dosages, impaired sensory and motor function, slowed cognition, stupefaction, unconsciousness, and possible death.

BAC (mg/dL) Symptoms
50 Euphoria, talkativeness, relaxation
100 Central nervous system depression, impaired motor and sensory function, impaired cognition
>140 Decreased blood flow to brain
300 Stupefaction, possible unconsciousness
400 Possible death
>550 Death highly likely


As a source of natural sugar, agave could only stimulate your carbohydrate metabolism...which is then stunted by the alcohol itself. Cheers!

#4 Ian Chadwick

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Posted 23 November 2006 - 08:51 AM

Actually, from what I've read, all alcohol in small amounts is a stimulant (to the average person) but then it becomes a depressant in larger quantities.

This apparently contradictory behaviour is called "biphasic response" and is explained at the madsci network among other places:

The question you ask is actually rather complex, because, in general, alcohol functions at the neuronal level to block or inhibit receptors. If the receptors being inhibited are excitatory (for example, glutamate receptors), then alcohol's effect is inhibitory (blocking a positive thing); if, however, those receptors are inhibitory (for example, GABA receptors), then the negation is actually stimulatory (block a negative thing results in a positive, just like a normal double negative.)


However, not everyone agrees and some suggest the stimulant effect is psychological rather than physical. A clinical psychologist in Oregon has this to say:

Alcohol is not a stimulant. There is no question that the person who drinks alcohol seems stimulated. Speech becomes free and animated, social inhibitions may be forgotten, and the drinker can begin to act and feel more emotional. But these effects are misleading; the "stimulation" occurs only because alcohol affects those portions of the brain that control judgment. "Being stimulated" by alcohol actually amounts to a depression of self-control. A principal effect of alcohol is to slow down brain activity, and depending on what, how much, and how fast a person drinks, the result is slurred speech, hazy thinking, slowed reaction time, dulled hearing, impaired vision, weakened muscles and fogged memory. Certainly not a stimulating experience!


Search for terms like alcohol and stimulant to read the sometimes conflicting views. In general it is agreed that alcohol has stimulating effects initially, but whether this is a real physiological effect or merely a psychological side effect is debated. A couple of studies point to individual reactions which suggest that some people may react to small quantities of alcohol as a stimulant while others do not.

In all cases and all studies, larger quantities of alcohol are a depressant. How much "larger" is depends on your physiology, sex, what you'd had to eat, drink, your body fat, etc.

Tequila contains no ingredient that makes it different from any other distilled spirit. Its magic is more etheral than mere physical properties!

#5 lirubis

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Posted 23 November 2006 - 11:50 AM

While science may suggest that tequila is a depressant, I have experienced for years pretty much the opposite: happy tequila drinkers are LOUD, lively and quite sociable, to say the least....Mike knows about this :lmao: ! Hardly what you would call "depressed"... ;)

#6 Attilio_Bettega

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Posted 23 November 2006 - 12:06 PM

Alcohol is only a depressant.

The first thing it depresses are your frontal lobes, thereby depressing your inhibitions. So, in low doses it depresses the inhibition, thereby disinhibiting you and making you more "active". However, it is still a depressant.

Cocaine abusers will like to get loaded before shooting up/snorting because the alcohol in the liver activates an enzyme system that creates a more powerful cocaine molecule and makes them "more high". This is about the only "stimulating" side effect.

Drink in moderation, stay away from drugs and you won't have to worry!

#7 Captain Agave

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Posted 23 November 2006 - 12:50 PM

These are some great replies. Obviously, this conversation is very stimulating.

#8 Mike Morales

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Posted 23 November 2006 - 05:04 PM

What scares me is the new fad of adding alcohol--mainly vodka--to "energy" drinks. I believe Ian has posted here before about the ill effects of these drinks on the body.

Reading the effects of alcohol, can you imagine the confusion your body goes through when hit by high doses of sugar, caffeine, and alcohol? :blink:

#9 SILVER

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Posted 23 November 2006 - 06:07 PM

... can you imagine the confusion your body goes through when hit by high doses of sugar, caffeine, and alcohol? :blink:

Woosh, what a rush! Let's try that again.

#10 reifer

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Posted 23 November 2006 - 10:41 PM

While science may suggest that tequila is a depressant, I have experienced for years pretty much the opposite: happy tequila drinkers are LOUD, lively and quite sociable, to say the least....Mike knows about this :lmao: ! Hardly what you would call "depressed"... ;)

No doubt Mike started strong, the last day of the tour but, as I remember he missed dinner all together. I'd say in the end, it was the depressive effects that got him.

#11 lirubis

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Posted 24 November 2006 - 05:46 PM

While science may suggest that tequila is a depressant, I have experienced for years pretty much the opposite: happy tequila drinkers are LOUD, lively and quite sociable, to say the least....Mike knows about this :lmao: ! Hardly what you would call "depressed"... ;)

No doubt Mike started strong, the last day of the tour but, as I remember he missed dinner all together. I'd say in the end, it was the depressive effects that got him.


or maybe Mike asked "what's for dinner" BEFORE everybody else did... :clown:

But yes, that is the reason I rarely take more than 3 tequilas, because I get VERY sleepy afterwards!

#12 Mike Morales

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Posted 24 November 2006 - 10:41 PM

No doubt Mike started strong, the last day of the tour but, as I remember he missed dinner all together. I'd say in the end, it was the depressive effects that got him.


Actually...

My absence from the last event on the tour was due to a combination of things which I will explain thoroughly in the last chapter of my blog! ;)

#13 Wichie13

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Posted 24 November 2006 - 11:45 PM

Yes it was a combination of Tequila, excitment, Tequila, lack of sleep, Tequila, march of death bus ride, and then finally a water glass size of Tequila.... :clown:

I LOVE YA MAN! :clown:


Actually...

My absence from the last event on the tour was due to a combination of things which I will explain thoroughly in the last chapter of my blog! ;)



#14 Mike Morales

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Posted 25 November 2006 - 08:52 PM

Yes it was a combination of Tequila, excitment, Tequila, lack of sleep, Tequila, march of death bus ride, and then finally a water glass size of Tequila.... :clown:

I LOVE YA MAN! :clown:


But wait...

There's more...! :D

#15 Iron Chef

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Posted 25 November 2006 - 09:08 PM

No doubt Mike started strong, the last day of the tour but, as I remember he missed dinner all together. I'd say in the end, it was the depressive effects that got him.


Actually...

My absence from the last event on the tour was due to a combination of things which I will explain thoroughly in the last chapter of my blog! ;)



I guess Professor Plum, in the Library, with the lead Pipe!!!! :lmao:
Tim

#16 Wichie's Woman

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Posted 26 November 2006 - 03:49 PM

Well I am not good with mysteries how long can you keep us in suspense?

#17 Mike Morales

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Posted 27 November 2006 - 05:23 PM

Well I am not good with mysteries how long can you keep us in suspense?


I'm writing the final chapter as fast as I can--

With a little help from some friends! ;)

#18 nyballer

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Posted 28 November 2006 - 04:43 PM

I personally think that tequila gets you going. There can be different buzzes from different alcohol. I fully believe in this. I know people that act differently from a buzz created from say whiskey than beer. I know when I drink tequila it seems to stimulate me and put me in party mood. I have some friends that like to smoke and they tell me that different strains of "tobacco" produce different highs. Why couldn't the alcohol that is produced from agave give a different buzz than grapes or malt? I know the chemistry of it all might not make this argument viable, but I still believe in it. :lmao: