- Definition: The intoxicating substance in drinks comparable
- Definition: The intoxicating substance in beverages such as beer, wine, liquors
- Chemistry: Organic compound with hydroxyl functional group tied to a carbon atom
- Types: Methanol, ethanol, butanol, isopropyl
- Usage: Alcoholic beverages, medicine, anti-freeze, fuels, solvents
- Calories: 5.47 kcal per ml of alcohol
- Depressant: Depressant or stimulant, depending on the amount
- History: Used in beverages since 10,000 – 5,000 BC
- Effects: Intoxication, dehydration, disinfection, preservation
- Classification: Legal recreational drug (when drinking)
- Etymology: Arabic, the name for a powder used as antiseptic and cosmetics
- Use: The Most Popular Use of Alcohol Is in Intoxicating Beverages
- Types: Ethanol Is the Type of Alcohol Used in Alcoholic Beverages
- Benefits: Alcohol Has Many Uses in Various Fields
- Risks: Alcohol Is Highly-Flammable and Toxic
- Detection: The Amount Consumed Is One Factor in Determining How Long Alcohol Stays in the Blood
- Detection: Alcohol Stays in Urine for 3 to 4 Days
- Types: Beer, Wine and Spirits Are 3 Basic Types of Alcoholic Beverages
- Health: Alcohol Is Packed with Calories
- Origin: Alcoholic Beverages Have Been Around for Thousands of Years
- Laws: Legal Drinking Age Greatly Varies around the World
- Nearly 90,000 People Suffer Alcohol-Related Deaths in the US Annually
- Alcohol Kills 1 Person Every Second
- The Term Honeymoon Is Connected to Alcohol
- Eastern European Nations Are the Heaviest Drinkers in the World
- The Star Spangled Banner Was Written to the Tune of a Drinking Song
- “Pack My Box with Five Dozen Liquor Jugs” Contains All the Letters of the Alphabet
- Most Fruits and Vegetables Contain Alcohol
- Bourbon Is a Traditional American Drink
- Auto-Brewery Syndrome Causes People to Be Drunk All the Time
- There Is a Giant Cloud of Alcohol in Outer Space
Alcohol Facts Infographics
The Most Popular Use of Alcohol Is in Intoxicating Beverages
Alcohol facts reveal that the compound chemically known as alcohol is nowadays used in a variety of ways, but the most popular remains the use in alcoholic beverages.
The global alcoholic beverage industry is currently worth over $1 trillion and is expanding from year to year, although a lot of governments try to limit alcohol consumption due to health reasons.
Ethanol Is the Type of Alcohol Used in Alcoholic Beverages
Due to its popularity throughout the world, the word “alcohol” has become a synonym for ethanol (although chemically inexact, since there are various kinds of alcohols).
CH3CH2OH, as ethanol is known in the world of chemistry, is sometimes mixed with other types of alcohol in alcoholic beverages, but is the dominant type of alcohol used in alcoholic drinks.
It is also used in medicine (antiseptic, antitussive, antidote), cosmetics (deodorants, mouthwash, nail polish removers etc.) and as a fuel (car fuel, rocket fuel, household heating etc.).
Alcohol Has Many Uses in Various Fields
Medicine, industry, scientific research and personal use are the four main areas of alcohol use. The specific area of use determines the type of alcohol needed and its concentration – for example, beer usually contains about 5% ethanol, anti-freeze typically contains 40-60% of ethylene glycol, and medicinal disinfecting pads usually contain 60-70% of isopropyl alcohol.
Alcohol Is Highly-Flammable and Toxic
When it comes to the industrial or scientific use of alcohol, the main risk lies in the fact that it is highly flammable and can therefore cause fires and explosions.
When it comes to personal use of alcohol, people often forget that it is toxic in certain amounts. Poisoning can occur by either consuming alcohol or excessively using other products that contain a lot of alcohol.
The Amount Consumed Is One Factor in Determining How Long Alcohol Stays in the Blood
Other factors are weight, gender, age, body type, metabolism efficiency, recently eaten food, type and strength of alcohol consumed, medication taken, and time passed since the last drink – all these need to be considered when calculating how long alcohol stays in the blood.
But, on average, alcohol leaves the body at a rate of 0.015% BAC (blood alcohol concentration) per hour. So, for example, drinking 5 beers brings the BAC to about 0.01%, which means it would take almost 7 hours for the blood to get rid of it.
Alcohol Stays in Urine for 3 to 4 Days
Alcohol facts reveal that alcohol in blood clears out in a matter of hours, but when it comes to urine, it takes much longer. Regular urine tests can detect alcohol up to 48 hours after ingestion. However, Etg urine tests, which measure ethyl glucuronide in urine, can detect the presence of alcohol 3 to 4 days after the ingestion.
Beer, Wine and Spirits Are 3 Basic Types of Alcoholic Beverages
Beers are produced from malted cereal grains and typically contain 4-6% of alcohol by volume, although beers with as much as 40% alcohol volume also exist. Beer is the most popular alcoholic beverage in the world and is the third most popular beverage overall (after water and tea).
Wines are alcoholic beverages made out of fermented grapes (or other fruits) and typically contain 10-12% alcohol by volume, while spirits are fermented and distilled alcoholic beverages that contain 20-40% alcohol by volume. The most popular spirits in the world are whiskey, vodka, gin, rum, tequila and brandy.
Alcohol Is Packed with Calories
Alcohol facts show that drinking alcohol in excessive amounts is bad for our health in various ways. One way in which it is bad for us is due to the calories contained in alcohol. Just 1ml of pure alcohol contains 5.47 calories, which means that a 0.75l bottle of wine with 10% abv contains approximately 400 calories in alcohol alone.
But alcohol is not the only ingredient that brings calories. Most alcoholic drinks also contain carbohydrates, which can greatly increase the number of total calories consumed. An average 0.75l bottle of wine with 10% abv thus contains approximately 600 calories in total, and 0.33l bottle or can of beer contains anywhere from 60-180 calories, depending on the brand and type of beer.
Alcoholic Beverages Have Been Around for Thousands of Years
Archeological discoveries reveal that intentionally fermented beverages have existed at least since the Neolithic period (around 10,000 years BC). The first wines appeared in around 6,000 BC, and the great ancient civilisations of Egypt, Babylon, Aztec, Greece and Rome that followed in later centuries and millennia all considered drinking alcoholic beverages as an important part of their culture.
Legal Drinking Age Greatly Varies around the World
The US has had one of the strictest laws regarding legal drinking age since the 1984 National Minimum Drinking Age Act, which set the limit to 21 years of age (for buying and possessing, but not necessarily drinking).
Most other countries have the minimum legal drinking age set to 18 years, but there are some countries where the limit goes as low as 16 years or as high as 25 years. There are, of course, also some countries where there is no limit at all and some countries where alcohol is illegal.
Nearly 90,000 People Suffer Alcohol-Related Deaths in the US Annually
This makes alcohol the third leading preventable cause of death in the US. Some 10,000 of those deaths occur in connection to drunk driving, and represent nearly a third of all driving fatalities.
Alcohol Kills 1 Person Every Second
The circumstances of these deaths vary greatly, but all are alcohol-related. This means that while you are reading this short alcohol fact, at least 5 people have died worldwide due to alcohol.
The Term Honeymoon Is Connected to Alcohol
It originated in ancient Babylon, where it was a tradition for the future father-in-law to supply his daughter’s intended with a month’s supply of mead (a traditional alcoholic beverage made out of honey). This period was known as the “honey month” and was gradually transformed to “honeymoon”, which we still use today.
Eastern European Nations Are the Heaviest Drinkers in the World
At least, this is what alcohol facts reveal from the World Health Organisation statistics. In Belarus, Moldova, Lithuania and Russia, an average adult drinks more than 3.2 gallons of pure alcohol per year.
That means around 33 gallons of wine or 6 gallons of beer. In the US, an average adult drinks around 2 gallons of pure alcohol per year, which means approximately 20 gallons of wine or 40 gallons (540 cans) of beer.
The Star Spangled Banner Was Written to the Tune of a Drinking Song
This drinking song is known as “The Anacreontic Song” or “To Anacreon In Heaven” and was used by a 18th-century gentleman club of amateur musicians in London. The original lyrics of the song are:
‘ To ANACREON in Heav’n, where he sat in full Glee,
A few Sons of Harmony sent a Petition,
That He their Inspirer and Patron wou’d be;
When this Answer arriv’d from the JOLLY OLD GRECIAN
Voice, Fiddle, and Flute,
No longer be mute,
I’ll lend you my Name and inspire you to boot,
And, besides, I’ll instruct you like me, to intwine
The Myrtle of VENUS with BACCHUS’s Vine. ‘
“Pack My Box with Five Dozen Liquor Jugs” Contains All the Letters of the Alphabet
Sentences that contain all letters of the alphabet are called pangrams. “Pack my box with five dozen liquor jugs” is the shortest alcohol-related pangram and one of the shortest pangrams in the English language in general.
Those who like to keep alcohol away from their pangrams can use “the five boxing wizards jump quickly” or “sphinx of black quartz, judge my vow”.
Most Fruits and Vegetables Contain Alcohol
This type of alcohol is known as sugar alcohol and is found in many fruits and vegetables you eat daily – apples, bananas, corn, pineapple, carrots, strawberries etc.
But don’t worry – sugar alcohol is very different from the alcohol found in alcoholic beverages and doesn’t have an intoxicating effect. So, you can rest assured that you won’t be fined for driving under the influence of fruit!
“License and registration, please. And how many apples have you eaten this evening?”
Bourbon Is a Traditional American Drink
Alcohol facts reveal that bourbon is an American whiskey, distilled from corn. If the whiskey is not made in the US, it cannot legally be called bourbon.
The name originates either from Bourbon County in Kentucky or Bourbon Street in New Orleans – nobody knows for sure nowadays, since the origin of the beverage is not well documented. Presumably due to inventors being too drunk to write down their experiences…
Auto-Brewery Syndrome Causes People to Be Drunk All the Time
Auto-brewery syndrome (also known as gut fermentation syndrome) is a rare medical condition in which ethanol (the alcohol found in alcoholic beverages) is naturally produced in the digestive system in amounts that cause intoxication. This condition has a big impact on one’s quality of life, but can be alleviated by a special diet. If those who have it wish to do so, of course…
There Is a Giant Cloud of Alcohol in Outer Space
This is certainly one of the most bizarre alcohol facts, but it is completely true! This massive alcohol cloud can be found about 6,500 light years from the Earth in a region of space known as W3(OH). But don’t get overexcited – most of the alcohol found there is methyl alcohol (also known as wood alcohol) and not really suitable for drinking.
Alcohol Facts – Facts about Alcohol Summary
Alcohols are chemical compounds with a hydroxyl functional group bound to a saturated carbon atom. There are many types of alcohol, which can be used in a variety of fields – medicine, industry, cosmetics and science, although the most popular remains drinking intoxicating beverages that contain ethanol, such as beers, wines and spirits.
Consumed alcohol remains in the blood for a few hours, but can be detected in the urine for days after ingestion. Moderate drinking is considered healthy to a certain degree, but excessive alcohol consumption causes thousands of deaths each year, so it is limited in most countries in the world by laws that prohibit under-age drinking and driving or working under the influence of alcohol.