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Why Does Alcohol Burn? All You Ought to Know

By October 21, 2021Drinking Facts
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Often we grab a bottle of beer as we spend quality time with friends and family. In most cases, every sip of the alcohol brings a burning sensation in the mouth and even as it moves down the throat. Scientifically, there is an explanation as to why this happens.

Despite alcohol bringing that strong burning taste, hours later, it makes you experience a hangover. That is because your system still has some concentrations of alcohol. Luckily, in Florida, the Hangover Hospital Key West team has a remedy. They make you well-hydrated and nourish your body with vitamins that kick out the hangover within 45 minutes.

Let’s look at the fundamental aspects revolving around the burning sensation of alcohol.

What Are the VR1 Receptors?

VR1 Receptors are the vanilloid receptors that are in the PVN (paraventricular nucleus). Studies show a close connection between the VR1 activation and the excitement of the autonomic PVN neurons. This is through the selective potentiation of the synaptic inputs (glutamatergic).

Connection Between the VR1 Receptors and Alcohol

  • Since these receptors send a message to your brain that you’re about to take something hot, this acts as the basis of the burning sensation whenever you take something like alcohol. Ethanol is a crucial compound in these recreational drinks, and what it does is bind with the receptors.
  • In normal circumstances, the activation of the VR1 receptors will take place at 42 degrees Celsius. This acts as the threshold for the temperature meaning anything hotter than this will make you feel a burning feeling. What the ethanol in the alcohol does is interfere with this critical threshold. In other words, it makes it lower to just 34 degrees celsius.
  • The fact that your body is at 37 degrees Celsius means that this is enough to make you feel hot. This high sensitivity takes place almost immediately when you start sipping your drink. It’s the reason why ethanol-free drinks usually don’t bring the burning sensation.

The Concentration Aspect

Many chemicals and organic compounds need to be in the right concentration. In most cases, the chemical properties are adverse when the concentration is at a high level. The same issue happens with alcohol. The highly distilled alcohol often increases the chances of burning feelings. Commonly, such alcohol brings about the irritation of the oral mucosa. Therefore, this inner membrane experiences the same effect as when taking spicy foods. Capsaicin, in particular, leads to this irritation and hot feeling.

Additionally, alcohol is a solvent that can remove some moisture aspects of the mucosa membrane. Such a drying sensation often brings the same burning feeling to the mouth and throat. It even makes you feel the warmth down the esophagus as the alcohol is flowing to the stomach. Sometimes, overconsumption of alcohol can result in the permanent dilation of the blood vessels around the gullet, making you always feel the burning sensation even more.

Alcohol often results in a certain burning feeling in the mouth and throat. This is due to the lowering of the threshold temperatures concerning the VR 1 receptors. The high concentration of the drinks also makes the mucosa membrane more sensitive. Besides the pain, alcohol often leads to hangovers. In Florida, some professionals can help you overcome it within minutes.

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