Why don’t some people like to drink alcohol?

What is it about the effects of alcohol that they don’t like? I pose this question not as a “what is wrong with teetotallers” but as a genuine interest in what people who don’t like to drink find unappealing about alcohols effects.

I enjoy the effects of alcohol, and wonder how one could find not them likeable.

I don’t hate alcohol, but I don’t love it either.

I used to drink a lot more in college mainly because I valued socializing much more than I do now.

These days, I’ll drink occasionally, but usually no more than 1–2 drinks at a time. I make an exception maybe 2–3 times a year and the conditions have to be right:

  1. I have to be with people I enjoy drinking with
  2. I don’t have to drive
  3. I don’t have anything to do the next day

There are several reasons I don’t like to drink much alcohol these days.

It doesn’t taste good.

Maybe it’s just me, but I just don’t like the taste of most alcoholic beverages.

Beer doesn’t taste good. I used to think it was straight up disgusting. Now, I can tolerate it, but there are still about a hundred drinks that taste better to me.

Hard liquor literally tastes like something that should not be put in your body. My body used to immediately reject it and I’d vomit on the spot if I took a straight shot of anything. Now that I’m a little more “seasoned,” I don’t quite do that, but I still get this horrible aftertaste.

Mixing hard liquor with something that tastes better like fruit juice or soda still does not make the cocktail taste better than the fruit juice or soda by itself. There are a few exceptions where there is so much flavored liquor and so much sugary mixer that the drink actually tastes good. These drinks can be dangerous.

It disrupts my sleep.

This isn’t just anecdotal. Research shows alcohol consumption reduces REM sleep [1], which leaves you feeling really crappy when you wake up. The effects are worse the more you drink.

I notice the effects of alcohol on the quality of my sleep when I have as little as 3 drinks.

These days, I really value my sleep and I get annoyed when I don’t get a good night of sleep.

It kills my productivity the next day.

After a night of drinking, the next day is always blah for me.

It starts off on the wrong foot with the poor sleep. But as soon as I’m awake, the blahness seems to compound throughout the day.

I’m typically most productive in the morning, but when I’m hungover, I literally don’t want to do anything except lie in bed or watch TV. I rarely want to watch TV, by the way.

During the Christmas holiday, I had a pretty heavy drinking night.

One of my good friends who I hadn’t seen for a couple of years was in town, so it was one of the the 2–3 times a year I make an exception to “go hard.”

The next day, I was totally unproductive.

I usually wake up in the morning and get some things done around the house, exercise, or write. I did none of these things. In fact, I’d only missed two days of writing in the 30 days that month and that was one of them.

As I went through the day, I remembered more and more why I don’t like drinking a lot.

I feel totally useless afterwards and it’s not worth it. By the time 5pm rolled around, I was exhausted from my crappy night of sleep and was ready to go to bed for the night.

All that said, I don’t mind drinking one or two drinks during social situations if I feel up to it.

Like many other things, I think it’s okay in moderation. But drinking a lot usually isn’t for me these days.

Footnotes

[1] 8 different ways drinking alcohol can mess up your sleep


Featured image by Little Visuals.

First published on Quora.

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