Having A Beer In The Shower Isn’t Just Relaxing — It Might Make You Smarter

There’s nothing quite like the simple pleasure of enjoying a cold, refreshing beer while you’re luxuriating in the shower.

It’s fun, relaxing, and, frankly, gives you a pretty nice buzz while you’re scrubbing away all the worries of the world in your own warm, comfortable bubble. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten through a terrible day, grabbed a beer out of the fridge, hopped into the shower, and practically felt my stress melt away with a few swigs. All that is pretty great enough, but get ready for some even greater news — it can also help you become more creative!

Every once in a while when I need to kick my imagination in gear and get those creative juices flowing, I pour myself a drink, and I’m definitely not the only one.

In fact, a University of Illinois study, which tested 40 men on their ability to solve brain-teasers, found that those who drank a couple of pints were able to solve 40% more of the problems than those who didn’t drink anything.

But as psychologist Jennifer Wiley points out, having a cold one doesn’t make you smarter at everything. “We found at 0.07 blood alcohol, people were worse at working memory tasks, but they were better at creative problem-solving tasks,” she said.

Still, she doesn’t discount the positive effects alcohol has when it comes to problem-solving. “We have this assumption, that being able to focus on one part of a problem or having a lot of expertise is better for problem solving,” she said. “But that’s not necessarily true. Innovation may happen when people are not so focused. Sometimes it’s good to be distracted.”

So where does the shower part comes in? Well, creativity is associated with an increased flow of dopamine, or the feel-good hormone. The more dopamine is released, the better we feel and the more creative we get. And as you’ve probably already guessed, taking a hot shower is one dopamine-releasing trigger. Pair that with beer-fuel problem-solving abilities and you’ll feel ready to conquer the world.

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