Most of us have heard talk of how tequila is actually a stimulant, unlike all the other liquors, which are depressants. While none of us know where exactly that piece of information came from, we’ve always wondered if it was actually true. Thankfully, the people over at Delish actually went out and found an expert to separate fact from fiction.
While tequila plays a lot of roles in our society–the go-to shot for a night out, the base of a traditional margarita, and the title of our favorite The Champs song–it is not a stimulant, according to Dr. Nehal Vadhan.
Dr. Vadhan is a psychologist with an expertise in substance use and he told the publication that tequila is a depressant just like any other liquor, although there may be a few reasons why so many people think the opposite is true.
As it turns out, a lot of the reasons people think tequila is a stimulant is because of the situations in which it is consumed, and how we consume it. Vadhan suggests that the agave spirit is mostly enjoyed at parties or during a night out, rather than with meals, and also that most people drink it less frequently than other alcoholic beverages, like wine or beer. Also, tequila is most commonly enjoyed in shots, which skews how people think it makes them feel.
“This perception can be magnified by popular culture, and especially on social media, by the anecdotal experiences of a few individuals,” Vadhan explained to Delish: “People are probably often excited and aroused after they drink tequila, but they were probably at least partially that way just before ordering it—which may have even lead to it being ordered!”
So there you have it, tequila is not a stimulant, and any stimulating side effects of consuming it are probably unrelated to the beverage itself. Afterall, all forms of alcohol are classified as depressants because of how they decrease central nervous system activity.
Now knowing tequila isn’t a stimulant, maybe we can all start sitting back and relaxing with some of those sipping tequilas that have been creeping up spirits connoisseurs’ must taste lists.