Why does wine make me feel high?

When you drink alcohol, your heart speeds up and sends more blood throughout your body. This increased blood flow isn't much different from how you feel after running in the park or running up a flight of stairs. Chemically speaking, alcohol stimulates the release of several neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, dopamine and opioid peptides. These natural brain chemicals will produce pleasurable feelings such as euphoria, reward and well-being.

The good news is that if you drink in moderation, you'll feel this chemical release every time you have a drink. However, if you drink too much (or take special medications), it can lower your dopamine and serotonin levels and can actually lead to depression. Again, it's important to practice moderation. Once it reaches your system, your body and brain start working to try to maintain homeostasis.

The brain maintains homeostasis by rejecting the artificial stimulation that alcohol has caused. You quickly start to lose the euphoria of drinking because your brain produces a chemical called dynorphine, dopamine's evil cousin, to attenuate pleasure receptors. That's because you CAN have too much of a good thing. Dynorphin is a natural sedative and a natural pain reliever.

That's why, in my first few days of drinking, I could get so high with just a glass of wine or half a glass of wine or even a few sips. Towards the end, when I was about to quit smoking, I could drink a bottle and a half of wine without feeling euphoria or numbness. The symptoms of poisoning you experience and their intensity are due to a number of factors, none of which is the type of alcohol. A new study suggests that wines aged in oak contain a type of acid that could reduce fatty liver in humans.

While alcohol has the pleasant side effect of making you feel warm and calm, this chemical generally damages cells and causes them to react unpleasantly at times. Congeners are chemical by-products of the fermentation process that flavor wine and other alcoholic beverages. Determining how much wine you should drink depends on your tolerance level and underlying health problems. Darker alcoholic beverages, such as red wine, also contain higher concentrations of congeners (more on that in a minute), which can affect the way the body processes alcohol and leave it in the body for longer.

A visual guide to wine with more than 230 pages of infographics, data visualization and wine maps that opens you up to the world of wine. The type of wine you drink, how quickly you drink it, and the effect you expect from your wine are just some of the things that influence how you ~think~ wine makes you feel. Over time, alcohol, due to the presence of dynorphin and the body's need to maintain homeostasis, deprives you of the ability to feel natural pleasure. Alcohol itself can cause headaches, but wine seems to have a special relationship with headaches.

There are clear differences between red and white wine, and some of those differences may contribute to the way wine affects you.

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