Often people ask you to be careful with your champagne and say that ‘the bubbles go straight to your head’. Researchers have conducted various studies and turns out bubble and fizzy alcoholic drinks can get you more drunk compared to their flat counterparts.
But how would a splash of carbonation accelerate your tipsiness?
According to one hypothesis carbon dioxide increases the rate at which alcohol gets absorbed into our blood. The alcohol rushes through the stomach and then through the small intestine. It primarily gets into the bloodstream by steeping in through the small intestine lining. It is said that carbon dioxide can accelerate this movement of food from the stomach to the small intestine which leads to faster absorption of alcohol in the blood, and hence, gets you drunk faster.
According to another hypothesis, carbon dioxide increases the permeability of biomembranes. It stimulates the blood circulation in the mucous membranes, like the ones in your stomach, small intestine and oral cavity. Better circulation implies more absorption of alcohol in the bloodstream.
But these are just hypotheses. Noone’s sure about the actual reason yet.
The effect can be alleviated by drinking champagne from a shallow goblet. The large surface area allows the carbon dioxide gas to escape quickly; whereas the champagne flute preserves it.