Does wine relax you but too much tequila turns you into teary, confrontational mess? Turns out, you’re in good company!

In a new observational study out of the UK, researchers analyzed almost 30,000 responses to the Global Drug Survey to assess people’s emotional relationships to alcohol. General trends appeared in the data, with spirits tending to have more negative associations than other types of alcoholic beverages.

Both red wine and beer were widely held to have a relaxing effect. On the flip side, a third of respondents reported that the consumption of spirits was linked to feelings of aggression. People also said spirits improved confidence and energy, however, which may help explain intentional consumption patterns. This booster effect was mentioned most consistently by the youngest respondents (18-24).

Women were more likely than men to report an emotional association with any type of alcohol, with the exception of aggression. Men and heavy drinkers were more likely to report aggression as a response to all types of alcoholic beverage consumption.

The researchers believe their analysis indicates a pattern of people drinking to excess in an attempt to feel positive emotions. Crucially, however, the responses were self-reported, meaning that the data was full of personal confounding factors and dependent on accurate recall. Nevertheless, an interesting study given the presence of observable trends despite the quantity and diversity of respondents.

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SOURCE: Medical News Today.