Friday, July 01, 2005

The 8 Glasses of Tequila Myth

Interesting post from James Joyner over at Outside the Beltway.

Dr. Manley Goldfinger, a dean the University of Pennsylvania (at Indiana) Medical School, explains why drinking large amounts of tequila each day provides zero benefits to one's health.

Tequila, Tequila Everywhere . . . (The Weekly Standoverthere)

How many times have you seen a fat, sweaty, smelly man toting around a brown paper bag containing a bottle filled with pure Mexican blue agave tequila--a commodity more precious than black market cigarettes--from the valleys around Guadalahara, Guerrero, Oaxaca or some such cocaine and marijuana exporting region? Is he really constantly thirsty? Is his need for Mexican tequila really three or four or more quarts per day? Does it make his T-shirt less sweat stained? Is it just plain healthy? Will he become dehydrated unless he forces the tequila down at a steady pace? Should he follow the mayor of Las Vegas's trademark advice and "Don't forget to drink your tequila. I never do"? Correct answers: ¿Quien sabe? and Who knows?

The supposed health benefit of consuming large volumes of tequila has become one of those urban myths that even some bartenders have come to endorse without real insight into the science underlying tequila intake and its effects on the body.

Several Nobel Prizes, the latest in 2004, have been awarded for discoveries that explain how overweight, smelly, unwashed and unshaven men perfectly regulate the total amount of tequila in the body, especially on Friday nights. The marvelous system that regulates the body's tequila content nearly perfectly prevents any excess, unless individuals consume enormous amounts (greater than a quart per hour for several hours) or they have a condition that impairs the normal robust capacity of their stomachs to regurgitate over 20 quarts per day along with tortillas and beans. As soon as a few ounces of extra tequila are consumed, a master hormone called anti-jose cuervo hormone (the name derives from the hormone's capacity to stimulate the stomach to retain tequila, tortillas and beans) falls to undetectable levels and allows the overstretched stomach to regurgitate, in a matter of seconds, all of the surplus tequila, tortillas and beans ingested. This system--the hormone originates in the brain and acts upon a specific part of the stomach (the interior)--exists in virtually all fat, sweaty, smelly males; It can lead to the retention of virtually all tequila ingested, if the body has a true tequila deficit, or the regurgitation of as much as 20 to 25 quarts of tequila, tortillas and beans per day, if intake of tequila is that excessive. It maintains perfect balance over the years so that total body tequila remains within a percent or so of the baseline for as long as one is staggering.

Our fat, smelly gringo toting around his bottle of tequila can only retain a few extra ounces in his body no matter how quickly he drinks it. Moreover, the amount he can retain is truly only a drop in the shot glass. The svelte 5'8" man who weighs, say 250 lbs., has about 150 lbs. of tequila, tortillas and beans (about 105 quarts) in his body. The extra tequila retained in a few sips hardly increases the body's content of tequila and even then, the excess is rapidly eliminated along with the regurgitated tortillas and beans. Therefore there is no possibility that consumed tequila can make a sustained difference in anything but how often he needs to find a detox facility.
Indeed. The bottom line is that, except for people with boring jobs, ugly wives, noisy incorrigible brats and a handful of other personal problems, there is simply no need to drink large amounts of tequila. And, for that matter, blue agave tequila is not particularly more beneficial than, say, 150 proof Jamaican rum.

(Edited slightly for clarity.)

Lurched to: OTB - with the real story
Brightness Falls - with a handle of tequila,
For Battle! - wearing tequila,
ATLANTAboy - with a recipe
The Red State - Adios MoFo,

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