• renie

Cheers 飲杯!

Do you like drinking? How well do you know the pros and cons of alcoholic beverages to our health?


The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has classified alcoholic beverages as a carcinogen since 2012. There is also strong scientific consensus that alcoholic beverages do increase the risk of several cancers and affect digestive, cardiovascular and psychological systems. While in the Traditional Chinese culture, both "The Introductory of Huangdi Neijing" and "Compendium of Materia Medica" classified alcoholic beverages as medical use, they are used as treatments of various diseases. Besides, the formation of the Traditional Chinese word "medical" includes the word "wine", indicates a close relationship between medical and wine in the Chinese tradition.

"I Ching" mentioned that drinking can help maintaining a good health. Small consumption of alcoholic beverages stimulates digestion, improves blood circulation, relieves coldness and reduces fatigue. However, your body may react the opposite if you over drink. I Ching proposed 4 drinking principles:

  • Warm your drinks: cold drinks harm the stomach and affect our digestion.

  • Sipping: sipping is the best way to taste your drinks. Drinking gradually also reduce the burden on stomach.

  • Don't mix wines: mix wines create harmful substances to our body and easily cause reactions like headache, dizziness and nausea.

  • Eat before drink: Drink with an empty stomach increases your body consumption of alcohol and get drunk speedily. Better eat food in high nutrition and fruit when drink.



  • 溫酒而喝:冰凍嘅酒有損脾胃,引起腸胃不適、消化不良。所以最好飲溫熱過嘅酒。

  • 飲必小嚥:應以輕酌慢飲嚟品出真正嘅味道,有助消化,唔會造成腸胃負擔。

  • 酒勿溝飲:溝酒飲會產生有害物質,更易引致身包括頭痛、眩暈、嘔吐等症狀。

  • 空腹勿飲:空腹飲酒會加速血液吸收酒精,更快飲醉。宜配搭高營養嘅餸菜、水果等。

4 Stages of Drinking

飲 ‧ 酒 ‧ 四 ‧ 步 ‧ 曲

Stage 1: Pick Your Drink


It is very interesting to apply the Five Elements in drinking: Wine represents Metal and Water in the Five Elements. If you lack of Metal/Water in your Five Elements or if you are born with a Fire life, in which Metal/Water are good for you, you are a wine lover. However, if you don't need Metal/Water or if you are born with a Wood life, you should avoid drinking. Those who don't need Water in their Five Elements may be allergic to drinking.

In The Introductory of Huangdi Neijing's principle, "Five grains keep good health. Five vegetables satisfy hunger. Five livestock benefits health. Five fruits as supplements." Five grains are considered as the most important food while fruits the least in our diet. If we apply such principle in alcohol types:

  • Beer: made with wheat with a hot nature. Though wheat is a type of grains, we usually chill beer to drink, which is harm to the stomach.

  • Wine: red/white wine and champagne all made with grapes and sour in taste, its nature is cold which is bad to our stomach.

  • Whiskey: made with barley or other grains with a hot nature but high in alcohol level. Adding ice or water to dilute whiskey can slightly reduce its harm to stomach.

  • Rice/Glutinous rice wine: made with rice with a hot nature. The warmed up rice wine can nourish our body.



  • 啤酒:由小麥釀製,性質屬陽性,雖然小麥屬於穀類,但我哋往往會雪凍啤酒先飲,所以飲得多都易傷脾胃。

  • 餐酒:紅酒、白酒、香檳等由葡萄釀製,味道較酸,性質寒涼,容易傷脾胃。

  • 威士忌:由大麥或其他穀類釀製,性質屬陽性,但酒精濃度高,先加入冰塊或以水調和才飲,可稍稍減低對脾胃嘅損傷。

  • 米酒/糯米酒:由米釀製,性質屬陽性,多會先溫熱至飲,對身體有滋補作用。

Stage 2: The Environment


The environment is one of the determining factors in drinking?

Drinking is a social behaviour, be it with friends, in a business setting, or drinking alone. It is a means of communication for you and others (or your own mind)! Alcohol causes our body to release endorphins which make us feel relaxed and euphoric, people may even do things they seldom do without drinking. However, alcohol is also classified as a depressant. For people who are predisposed to mental health disorders, alcohol can exacerbate the effects of certain conditions.

Researchers also investigate if emotions related to alcohol consumption differ by alcohol type. More people reported the feeling of aggression when drinking spirits than other alcohol types. While people feel relaxed when drinking red wine more than other types. The higher the alcohol dependence, the more emotions (both positive and negative) one would feel when drinking.


飲酒本身係一種社交嘅行為,無論係良朋共聚、公務應酬、定係得一個人飲,飲酒都係同其他人(或者同自己嘅思想)去交流嘅一個媒介。酒精可以增加身體釋放安多芬,令人喺飲酒後感覺輕鬆,亦可能會更放膽去做啲平時唔會做嘅嘢! 不過酒精同時係一種抑鬱劑,如果本身情緒不穩或有精神科疾病嘅人,飲酒隨時可能會加劇病情。


Stage 3: The Taste


As mentioned, drinking is a social behaviour. No matter you are a teetotaler, a social drinker or a binge drinker, you have to keep your drinking manners! Some drinkers like sipping, and to enjoy and taste different wines bit by bit. Some other drinkers like binge drinking. They treat alcohol as water, consume excessive alcohol at a time. There are also occasions that we only drink a single type of alcohol, such as during wine tasting functions; while in other occasions we may drink mix wines.

Drinking is a way to establish and maintain social relationships, you can show integrity and friendship through restrain drinking. However, if one uncontrollably drink too much can become drunken and causing troubles, which could affect friendships.

Hence, the formation of Traditional Chinese characters are based on well-grounds and meaningful stories. The Chinese word of "drunken" includes the two words "wine" and "ominous", too much "wine" = "ominous". Simple to understand!

頭先講到飲酒係其中一個社交行為,無論你係滴酒不沾、間唔中應酬式咁飲吓、抑或已經係酒鬼,飲酒時都要有「品」(飲酒嘅禮儀)! 好酒嘅人有啲鍾意淺嚐,喜好慢慢嗒,試真啲味道。另一類好酒人士就鍾意「劈酒」,大啖大啖咁灌入口,完全當咗酒係水咁飲!飲酒嘅時候有時一次過只係飲一類酒(單一酒),好似去品酒會咁,又有啲場合我哋會溝酒(多類酒)飲。


所以話,古代造繁體字係有根據、有意義、有故事嘅。從字解,酗酒的「」字包含+飲得太多 = 凶,好易明啦!

Stage 4: The Hangover


How would you feel after a drinking night? Headache, thirsty or fatigue?

I think most of the people feel fatigue during a hangover. How to soothe a hangover? Apart from diet therapy, you can learn to massage a few acupoints to alleviate a hangover.

飲完酒之後第二朝起身你身體會出現啲咩反應? 頭痛、口乾、或者覺得攰?


Lastly, if you are curious how alcohol affects your body, check the alcohol percentage in your bloodstream in this website: Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) Calculator.


Enough is as Good as a Feast, How could Drinking be an Exception?!


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