Are you a vaper who likes to kick back with a cold one from time to time? If there are two activities that help us feel relaxed after a particularly long day, they are vaping and enjoying a beer. Sure, each of these activities can help us feel more relaxed, but is it okay to enjoy them together? Let’s see what science has to say about the effects of combining nicotine and alcohol.
Can You Vape While or Immediately After Drinking?
Many of us already know for a fact that we can drink and vape at the same time. This is because anyone who is a regular vaper is unlikely to temporarily cease vaping whenever they are drinking. In fact, the opposite tends to happen – that is, when we drink, we crave more nicotine than before. You may have friends who quit smoking ages ago, but after they’ve got a few drinks in them, they start bumming smokes off of anyone who is feeling particularly generous that evening. Well, interestingly, there’s a reason why this is the case.
Vaping is known for temporarily calming the nervous system, but another thing that it does is raise dopamine levels, as this is the effect that nicotine has on the brain’s reward center. Dopamine makes us feel somewhat euphoric and helps us feel less stressed out at the same time.
Alcohol, too, raises dopamine levels. When we drink, we tend to forget about the things that were stressing us out immensely just thirty minutes ago.
But the thing about both nicotine and alcohol is that these dopamine effects are short-lived. Alcohol quickly turns into a depressant, which makes us feel slowed down and foggy.
Meanwhile, taking in too much nicotine to sustain that “relaxed” feeling can backfire, as too much nicotine makes us feel agitated. Abstaining from nicotine altogether can create a similar effect due to the withdrawal symptoms that can kick in just one hour after having your last nicotine fix.
More interestingly, alcohol and nicotine work together synergistically. This means that combining the two substances creates a unique effect. And, that effect is, surprisingly, a reduction of dopamine in the system.
Why Do We Still Crave Nicotine When Drinking?
Especially, if it actually lowers our dopamine levels. Well, when our brains get a rush of dopamine, they fixate on when they can next get another one. This rush of dopamine is, essentially, addictive to the brain. And so, it makes sense that once the effects of the alcohol wear off, the brain turns to the next possibility, which is nicotine.
So, is It Actually Alright to Do So?
The answer is, sure, why not? There are no known negative effects associated with combining these two things together. In other words, it’s not like popping an opioid drug after drinking, which can cause a serious interaction that has the potential to be dangerous.
One thing to keep in mind is that the amount of each that you consume makes a difference. For instance, consuming a ton of alcohol can leave you feeling dehydrated, as can excessive chain-vaping. So, be mindful of your hydration levels, and how you feel overall, to make sure that you don’t do anything that will leave you feeling unwell.
Also, pay attention to how much you’re vaping, because many people find that they vape excessive amounts when drinking and end up waking up the next day with next to no e-liquid left.
Bottom line is that it’s fine to drink a beer and vape within a short period of time.