Alcohol Intake After Studying Improves Memory

If you often forget what you have recently learnt, here’s a simple solution. Have a drink immediately after studying! This is conclusion of a new UK study.

Conventional wisdom says that too much drinking can lead to a poor health, seriously affecting our physical and mental health. But some benefits are associated with this this so called depressant beverage that will surprise you.

Alcohol Intake After Studying Improves MemoryAccording to scientists at the University of Exeter in the UK, drinking alcohol just after learning something new could help improve your memory, enabling you to recollect what you have learned.

Consuming alcoholic beverage soon after studying information can help improve your memory, helping us to better retain the information in our memory, claimed the scientists.

In the study, those who consumed alcohol after learning something new were more likely to retain information in their memory than their counterparts who didn’t drink.

To determine how alcohol consumption can affect brain, the researchers involved 88 social drinkers – 31 men and 57 women aged 18 to 53. They randomly split the participants into two groups and gave each of them a word-learning task. The participants were told to either drink as much as they want afterwards or not to drink at all. The next day, the participants did the same task again.

After analysing the data, the research team found that the volunteers who had downed four units of alcohol on average after the task were able to perform better the following morning. This group was more able to remember more of what they had learned than non drinkers.

“Our research not only showed that those who drank alcohol did better when repeating the word-learning task, but that this effect was stronger among those who drank more,” said Celia Morgan, professor at the University of Exeter.

“The causes of this effect are not fully understood, but the leading explanation is that alcohol blocks the learning of new information and therefore the brain has more resources available to lay down other recently learned information into long-term memory,” said Morgan.

“The theory is that the hippocampus – the brain area really important in memory – switches to ‘consolidating’ memories, transferring from short into longer-term memory,” she said.

Despite the results, Morgan and her team noted that alcohol has many adverse effects on mental health, and this small positive effect of alcohol on the brain should not negate the well-established hazardous effects of alcoholic beverages on memory as well as mental and physical health.

In a second task, the participants looked at images on a screen once after consuming alcohol and again the next morning. When the participants were asked to recall the images on the screen, the researchers did not see any significant differences in memory performance after drinking alcohol.

The study appears in the journal Scientific Reports.

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