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Old 12-04-2003, 07:56 AM
NotMrKnowItAll NotMrKnowItAll is offline
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Dallas Texas
Posts: 542
Why exhale with an "Ahh" after drinking

Is it a throat clearing reflex that prevents inhaling fluid? Is there a name for it. My searches on Google were filled with pages about alcoholism and how to cut down on drinking through behavior modification, and how horses drink more warm water than cold if provided only one or the other, etc. I found nothing on that high pitch "Ahhh" that follow a slug of whiskey.

Why is there a sense of satisfaction at doing so after a long draw of beer? Is this simply a learned thing?
"Well, I've felt that way before, but I never felt the need to advertise it", Granddad, commenting on "Born Loser" tattoo.
Old 12-04-2003, 08:02 AM
NoGoodNamesLeft NoGoodNamesLeft is offline
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 707
Because I hold my breath when I drink. I take a breath, drink, and then exhale.

If I'm taking a BIG drink, I'll drawe a deep breath, chig, chug, chug away, then exhale.
Old 12-04-2003, 08:03 AM
Colophon Colophon is offline
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Hampshire, England
Posts: 13,370
I think it's more to do with the fact that you can't breathe while drinking... therefore, you tend to take a deep breath before starting to drink, which is then released noisily afterwards. In effect you are holding your breath for quite a while as you down that pint.
Old 12-04-2003, 08:05 AM
scr4 scr4 is offline
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Alabama
Posts: 14,232
I think it's because you are holding your breath while you are drinking; you can't inhale or exhale while fluid is flowing through your throat. CO2 builds up in your lung, and causes the "out of breath" sensation*. So the first thing you do afterwards is to exhale hard.

*When you hold your breath, it's not the lack of oxygen that causes the "I'm suffocating!" sensation. It's the CO2 buildup. If you have a continuous supply of inert gas (say, pure nitrogen) you won't feel discomfort and you'll pass out before you know anything is wrong.
Old 12-04-2003, 08:09 AM
Futile Gesture Futile Gesture is offline
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: UK
Posts: 3,362
Exhaling after drinking a spirit clears your air ways of any alcohol vapours that would be an irritant to your lungs.

The stronger the spirit the more you'll want to do this.
Old 12-04-2003, 08:48 AM
CheekyMonkey613 CheekyMonkey613 is offline
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Montreal, Canada
Posts: 557
I'm so weird ...

Ok ... I am just finding something out about myself...

Reading these posts, I'm thinking: "I can breathe while I drink"... So I just did it now to make sure. Wouldn't surprise me if I've just found another oddity about myself.

Funny thing is, I ALWAYS do that after a glass of water, in an exagerated way. Like LOUD. AHHHHHHHH!

More specifically, I say: "AHHHHHHHH! I love water"

So maybe in my case, I just do it cause I've always heard people do it, not cause I'm exhaling.
Old 12-04-2003, 09:22 AM
scr4 scr4 is offline
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Alabama
Posts: 14,232
Re: I'm so weird ...

Originally posted by CheekyMonkey613
I'm thinking: "I can breathe while I drink"... So I just did it now to make sure.
You can actually breathe while fluid is flowing through your throat? I just tried it and even if I try hard to continue breathing, the air flow stops momentarily as the water goes "glug" down my throat.
Old 12-04-2003, 09:37 AM
curly chick curly chick is offline
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Dublin, Ireland
Posts: 825
Surely no one can breathe while swllowing, never mind drinking.

The if the trachea and the oesophagus were open at the same time, surely whatever you were trying to swallow would end up in your lungs and kill you? If you started coughing you would might be able to dislodge it, I suppose

Swallowing air, however, either makes you fart of gives you the hiccups - I can never remember which!
Old 12-04-2003, 09:50 AM
NotMrKnowItAll NotMrKnowItAll is offline
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Dallas Texas
Posts: 542
Thanks for all the posts, I am afraid I am unconvinced by the CO2 line of argument. This happens after every sip, no matter how short a duration, how quick does CO2 collect in the lungs? Also, you constrict your throat and force the air out. Would not exhaling with a dialated throat, as you do after an extended breath-holding exercise, be the preferred method?

Since it is morning and I am drinking coffee, I've experimented on myself.

First I exhaled all the air I could from my lungs and took a sip. In ten tries I got coffee down my windpipe once.

Second, I drank normally, which includes inhaling over the liquid as it enters my mouth, and upon swallowing it, I exhaled "open throat". I had a vague feeling of liquid in my throat, but no choking.

Third, I suppressed the urge to exhale and went directly to inhaling after a sip. I did not choke.

So my simple, likely faulty experiments do not support my notion that reminant liquid must be cleared from the throat.

As for strong spirits, since it is morning I cannot experiment with those, but I will have some tequilla tonight and try it out. I doubt I will go through ten shots however.


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