On the eve of Free Beer Friday, I feel it is my job to inform you of a few things and I found some drinking myths that have been busted, so bottoms up and read on.

If you're hitting Benton Station, JP's, Third Street Brewhouse or any other area drinking establishment this weekend, here are some fun facts for you to justify your drinking habit.

Beer does not give you a "beer gut". Some brews have a higher caloric content, so if you drink enough of them, yes, you will gain weight, but it's not going to give you any more of a spare tire than eating some delicious pizza or bacon cheeseburgers. People gain weight in different places, so it actually depends on your genetics rather than your drinking and beer can actually be healthy!

American beer is not necessarily weaker than others. It obviously depends on the brand, but in America, we measure alcohol content in weight. In other places around the globe, they measure alcohol content by volume, so five percent alcohol by volume is the same as four percent alcohol by weight. It's this whole math thing I can't explain, but if you understand math, it makes sense.

Taking an aspirin before drinking does not ward off a hang over. Aspirin has the opposite effect, actually. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, taking an aspirin before you go out drinking actually increases the amount of booze that ends up in your system so you get drunk quicker and stay drunk longer and while that sounds great and awesome and fun, it can lead to gastrointestinal bleeding and that's just no fun for anybody. That headache you get comes from being dehydrated, so before you go to bed, drink some Pedialite, Gatorade, Powerade or just plain old water and that should lessen the blow. Notice I said should. Even the Lord wants you to get rid of your hangover. It says so in the Bible. Isaiah 5:11 states, “Woe unto them that rise up early in the morning, that they may follow strong drink”. My favorite morning after cure was four Advil, a 32 ounce Gatorade and a shower. A beer in the morning also doesn't cure a hangover and neither does coffee. While it is true it can lessen the symptoms right away, once the alcohol metabolizes, your hangover can be worse and coffee doesn't sober you up, it just makes you a wide awake drunk. The only real tried and true proven hangover remedy is water and time.

Drinking doesn't kill brain cells. Hooray! Again, just like aspirin, the opposite effect is true. A study done on eleven thousand women showed that those who drank a small amount of alcohol like one beer or a glass of wine on a daily basis actually improved brain function and can ward off mental decline by 20 percent.

So, bottoms up and cheers to the weekend!

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