A study of 2,000 adults who drink found 49 per cent have had a beverage before an event or social occasion to increase confidence.
Such situations have included a family gathering (43 per cent), the first social outing with new colleagues (25 per cent) and catching a flight (23 per cent).
More than one in 20 (seven per cent) have even had a ‘shot’ of courage before a job interview, while 10 per cent have done so before a video call.
Among the top situations in which people drink to feel their best are on nights out (55 per cent), a holiday (48 per cent) and someone else’s wedding day (43 per cent).
The research was commissioned by alcohol-free spirit, SENTIA, co-founded by neuroscientist Professor David Nutt, and found a sixth (17 per cent) admitted they feel the best version of themselves when drinking alcohol.
But 36 per cent wish they could feel this way without having to rely on a drink and 46 per cent struggle with confidence in social situations if they’re not drinking.
SENTIA co-founder and neuropsychopharmacologist, Professor David Nutt, said: “It’s really interesting to see that more than half of those polled (53 per cent), would choose a drink that gives them all the benefits of alcohol without the negatives if they could.
“The exciting thing is, with the scientific advances in food technology in recent decades, this drink exists.
“We have discovered a specific blend of botanical ingredients that interact to target GABA activity – that’s the neurotransmitter responsible for sensations of sociability – in the brain; this triggers the same response we experience when we have roughly two alcoholic drinks – the volume the majority of those polled said they needed to feel their best self.
“Enhanced GABA activity has been scientifically found to increase sociability and conviviality whilst reducing anxiety.”