Grab a beer before your next meeting or deadline. A new study from the University of Graz in Austria found that a pint of beer boosts creativity.
“Alcohol is so linked with creativity,” lead author of the study, Mathias Benedek, said according to The Independent. “Previous research has found almost half of the great writers had a history of drinking. We found that small drink can indeed help with certain aspects of creativity.”
The study looked at 70 volunteers aged 19 to 32. Some drank a non alcoholic beer, others drank a 5.2 percent alcohol by volume beer. Then they all watched a 30-minute documentary on South Africa. After the doc, they played a game finding a common connection between words. The people who drank the real beer performed better than the people who had the non alcoholic beer.
“While many activities benefit from high cognitive control, some may actually suffer from too much focus,” Benedek said. “Creative problem solving tasks are often solved by spontaneous insight and accompanies by ‘Aha’ experiences.”
There’s just one caveat. If you have more than a couple drinks, your creativity is impaired rather than improved.
The study isn’t the first to support the link behind moderate alcohol consumption and creativity. There was the study in 2014 that found a blood alcohol content of 0.075 improves problem solving, the study by the University of Illinois that found people with a blood alcohol content of 0.07 solved equations faster, and the 2012 study that alcohol helps people think outside the box. There’s even a beer designed to help you reach peak creativity.
It doesn’t hurt to have another study justifying the pre-meeting beer, though. Cheers!