People tend to feel more energised, relaxed and confident after drinking and the positive effects on mood tend to outweigh the negatives, according to a survey of 30,000 people in 21 countries in the journal BMJ Open.
Co-author Professor Mark Bellis, who is also Public Health Wales' director of policy, research and global development, added: "For centuries, the history of rum, gin, vodka and other spirits has been laced with violence".
The survey showed that different types of alcohol caused people about the same feelings, despite the fact that they all belonged to completely different cultures and lived in opposite parts of the world.
But the authors have found that spirits do have an upside in that they are more likely to elicit feelings of energy and confidence than beer or wine.
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You can read the study here.
About 30,000 people aged between 18 and 34 were asked about how drinking red or white wine, beer or spirits affected them, either drinking at home, or when out. They were opportunistic sample, so are not meant to be fully representative of people in each country. Women were significantly more likely than men to associate each feeling except for aggression with all types of alcohol.
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Bellis: Spirits were most strongly associated with feelings of being energised, confident, and sexy.
They were asked to choose from a range of emotional states, including more energised, relaxed, sexy or confident; or exhausted, ill, restless, more aggressive or tearful.
The only emotional response that spirits didn't score highest for was being relaxed; if you're looking to unwind, you're better off with red wine or beer, both of which scored much higher in this area (52% and 49% respectively). Over half (around 59%) of respondents associated these drinks with feelings of energy and confidence.
Bellis: There are many factors that may link different drinks to different emotional outcomes.
"Spirits are often consumed more quickly and have much higher concentrations of alcohol in them". This can result in a quicker stimulating effect as blood alcohol levels increase. For example, people who drink spirits regularly usually tend to elicit negative feelings when compared to other types of beverages.
But he added: 'It is worth also bearing in mind that there are compounds apart from alcohol in different drinks. 50 percent of people who drank beer too shared a similar experience and said that they felt positive while drinking beer.
This compared to about 2.5% of red or white wine drinkers and 7% of beer drinkers reporting feelings of aggression. Men also said that under the influence of alcohol feel more attractive to women. The emotional side of drinking is another important aspect to consider when trying to tackle alcohol related harms.