Move Over Fido: Is Alcohol a Man’s Best Friend?

Puppy in a GlassWhile the old expression says that a dog is “man’s best friend,” and for good reason, the reality is that plenty of guys don’t have the desire or the time to take care of a loyal canine. In fact, even for dog owners, there’s something else that can provide them comfort and is always up for a good time, and that’s delicious booze. Of course, dogs probably won’t be the reason you make a complete ass of yourself at your buddy’s wedding, but that’s another issue.

Yes, if you take a look in most men’s homes, or follow them around for a week, it won’t take long before you conclude that guys like alcohol. Or if you watch TV for just five minutes or take a short stroll outside, it won’t be long before you see an ad that’s trying to sell liquor to men. What’s the reason for this? The majority of men like to drink, whether it’s a couple of beers during the game or at a work function to dull their senses.

In other words, if you were to take a survey and ask men whether they spend more money on beer in a year, or a tail-wagging buddy, chances are it would be former. In fact, they might very well spend more on booze than on their girlfriend, wife, or human pals. But does that mean alcohol is a man’s best friend? Maybe.

How much do men drink?

While there is no shortage of stereotypes about men and alcohol, the expression “Joe Six Pack” doesn’t refer to a dude with cans of coconut water. Studies show that guys do drink more than women. In fact, reports show that males typically drink quite a bit more than females. Shocked? Probably not.

For example, according to a recent Gallup Survey, men, on average, drink about four more drinks per week than women. While that may not sound like a lot, if you were to apply that average to the entire population of the United States, that’s a whole lot of beers, shots, and cocktails going in the guy’s column.

According to a recent study done in the United Kingdom, men “across the pond” are also drinking much more than women. While both sexes in the U.K. apparently drink more than Americans, the gents were also well ahead of the ladies. The study reported that British men have around nine more drinks than women, on average, every week. That’s a lot of pints being guzzled during the football match.

Is it true that men can drink more than women?

Depending on your social circles, you may have heard that “chicks can’t drink” or that “they’re cheap drunks”, or you’ve been told that is just a myth. While there are certainly plenty of women that are seasoned boozers who could probably drink most dudes under the table, studies do indicate that men cope with the effects of alcohol better. That doesn’t mean they can’t wind up trembling over a toilet bowl, also―it just might take longer.

The reality is that, on average, men are typically taller and bigger than women, so that means men have a higher blood volume as well. As a result, men have more blood to fill up with booze before they start singing at the top of their lungs or telling the waitress she “looks super hot.”

Guys also have a lower concentration of body fat than women. Since liquor can’t be absorbed by fat, women are forced to deal with more alcohol pulsing through their bodies. In addition, men have more of a magical enzyme called dehydrogenase, which helps break alcohol down. These are further reasons why girls are at a serious disadvantage when it comes to drinking games.

So, men are probably a little more chummy with alcohol on average because, on the whole, they can have more drinks before things start to go south. It’s a lot easier to be friends with someone―or something―if it doesn’t make you ill after hanging out with it for a few hours.

Why do guys like booze so much?

While men today are expected to take it relatively easy when it comes to alcohol, compared to when a five-cocktail lunch was “understandable”, the image of the modern man still involves booze. Aside from the countless ads that show men drinking and having a good time, which is accurate for the most part, alcohol is a big part of most men lives. Whether it’s while talking to a friend or to a co-worker, chances are a man’s going to hear “you want to grab a beer?” countless times during his lifetime.

Then there’s also the fact that alcohol makes you feel good, until you drink too much of it, of course. According to a recent study, drinking alcohol causes the brain to release endorphins, which can give you a sense of pleasure and happiness. This could explain why you only tell your buddies that you “love them” after you’ve shared six pitchers of beer with them.