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Ever needed an alcoholic drink before a funeral, a work presentation or a job interview?

Lifestyle

Ever needed an alcoholic drink before a funeral, a work presentation or a job interview?

A little ‘Dutch courage’ before big moments…

A study of 2,000 adults who drink found 49 per cent have had a beverage before an event or social occasion to increase confidence. Such situations have included a family gathering (43 per cent), the first social outing with new colleagues (25 per cent) and catching a flight (23 per cent).

More than one in 20 (seven per cent) have even had a ‘shot’ of courage before a job interview, while 10 per cent have done so before a video call. Among the top situations in which people drink to feel their best are on nights out (55 per cent), a holiday (48 per cent) and someone else’s wedding day (43 per cent).

The research was commissioned by alcohol-free spirit, SENTIA, co-founded by neuroscientist Professor David Nutt, and found a sixth (17 per cent) admitted they feel the best version of themselves when drinking alcohol.

But 36 per cent wish they could feel this way without having to rely on a drink and 46 per cent struggle with confidence in social situations if they’re not drinking.

SENTIA co-founder and neuropsychopharmacologist, Professor David Nutt:

“It’s really interesting to see that more than half of those polled (53 per cent), would choose a drink that gives them all the benefits of alcohol without the negatives if they could. The exciting thing is, with the scientific advances in food technology in recent decades, this drink exists.

“We have discovered a specific blend of botanical ingredients that interact to target GABA activity – that’s the neurotransmitter responsible for sensations of sociability – in the brain; this triggers the same response we experience when we have roughly two alcoholic drinks – the volume the majority of those polled said they needed to feel their best self.

“Enhanced GABA activity has been scientifically found to increase sociability and conviviality whilst reducing anxiety.”

The research also found adults would struggle to dance in public (33 per cent), give a speech (26 per cent) or go on a date (18 per cent) without alcohol in their system.

A further 47 per cent would feel nervous on a first date sober and 18 per cent would be anxious on their own wedding day. A night out without drinking would leave people feeling quiet (17 per cent) and uncomfortable (17 per cent).

As well as a boost in confidence, people are more sociable (39 per cent), happy (34 per cent) and talkative (33 per cent) once they’ve got a drink in them. More than a third feel they ‘need’ a drink in some social situations (37 per cent), but 18 per cent would find drinking non-alcoholic beverages easier if they knew someone else who was doing the same.

A further four in 10 polled via Onepoll have tried to give up or cut out alcohol – including 63 per cent of 18-24 years old’s compared to 33 per cent of over 65’s. Reasons for trying to cut back included to improve health (59 per cent), save money (50 per cent) and avoid hangovers (38 per cent).

SENTIA spokesperson, Brendan Williams:

“Connection is at the heart of what it means to be human and drinking is often at the heart of our social occasions. We hope to help produce those feelings of sociability in the brain, helping conscious drinkers and healthy hedonists come together and feel great in these moments.”

Top 10 situations Brits have had an alcoholic drink
  1. A night out
  2. A holiday
  3. A family gathering
  4. Someone else’s wedding day
  5. First date
  6. My wedding day
  7. A concert
  8. First Christmas party with a new job
  9. A funeral
  10. Another date (not first)

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