[The following is an exact transcript of this podcast.]
If you're ever worried that you've had one too many drinks after a night of bar-hopping, you might want to ask yourself: Are my ears ringing? Because it turns out that when the music gets loud, we tend to drain our mug of brew faster. That’s according to a study to be published in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.
Researchers staked out two bars in the west of France and observed drinking habits of 40 patrons. With permission from bartenders, the scientists pumped up the volume of a Top 40 station from 72 to 88 pounding decibels. In this earsplitting din of pop-music, patrons drank more in less time. While it's been known that music played in the mall can influence consumer behavior, this study is the first to take that theory to the bar scene.
The researchers speculate that loud music may energize and excite bar-hoppers, making them more likely to binge. Or, they say, perhaps it was just too loud to talk, so people focused instead on their pint-sized companions. Either way, if you're trying to cut back on your beer, might I suggest an earplug chaser?