Millions of adults have had an alcoholic drink before a funeral, a work presentation – and even a job interview
A study of 2000 adults who drink revealed that 49% have had a drink before an event or social event to boost confidence.
These situations include a family gathering (43%), a first social outing with colleagues (25%), and catching a plane (23%).
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 and conducted by SENTIA, an alcohol-free spirit co-founded by Professor David Nutt. It found that a sixth (17%) of respondents said they feel the best when they drink 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, said: “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.”
Social drinking – without tomorrow’s regrets
The research also showed that adults would have difficulty dancing in public (33%), giving a speech (26%), or going on a date (18%) if they had no alcohol in their system.
Another 47% would feel anxious on a first date sober, and 18% would be anxious on their wedding day.
People would feel uncomfortable and quiet if they went out on a night without alcohol (17%)
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.
There are many reasons to reduce your spending, including to improve your health (59%), save money (50%), and avoid hangovers (38%).
SENTIA spokesperson, Brendan Williams, added: “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 25 occasions Brits have had an alcohol drink
- A night out
- A holiday
- A family gathering
- Someone else’s wedding day
- First date
- My wedding day
- A concert
- First Christmas party with a brand new job
- Another date (not the initial)
- Making new friends is a great way to meet new people
- Sport watching
- First social occasion with new colleagues
- A hen do
- When meeting my partner’s friends
- Take off on a flight
- A stag do
- When a ‘fresher’ at university
- Doing karaoke
- Meeting my partner’s family for the first time
- Making an announcement, e.g. I’m engaged
- Getting results/news e.g. Exam results
- A video conference
- Social media: Sharing something
- Playing a sport game, e.g. Playing football
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