Beer before wine, you'll feel fine? Not according to a new study

Henrietta Strickland
February 8, 2019

Determined to find a way to help people have a better day after a night out, the researchers recruited 90 fearless souls in Germany between the ages of 19 and 40 to drink beer, wine or both. Subjects in the third control group had either only beer or only wine. A new study finds that the order in which you consume alcoholic drinks won't actually help you avoid a hangover.

For this advancement of science, we have to thank 90 fearless volunteers, aged 19 to 40, who were split into three groups: The first group consumed around two and a half pints of beer followed by four large glasses of wine; the second consumed the same amounts of beer and wine, only in reverse order.

The second group of students drank the same amount of alcohol as the first group, but in the opposite order.

The participants were then kept under medical supervision overnight.

Researchers found that none of the three groups experienced significantly different hangover scores when the alcoholic drinks we re-ordered.

In conclusion, the researchers said their findings debunk age-old myths regarding drinking beer and wine in a particular order and that drinkers should instead focus on how intoxicated they think they are and whether they feel sick to gauge their hangover the next day. Despite folklore found throughout Europe claiming that the order in which people consume drinks allows them to control their subsequent headache, the team found no such evidence.

Two factors did seem to predict the severity of symptoms the day after: how drunk people felt while they were drinking and whether they vomited.

It was discovered that, no matter what order drinks were drunk in, participants still reported the same hangover scores. "The only reliable way of predicting how miserable you'll feel the next day is by how drunk you feel and whether you are sick", Jöran Köchling of Witten/Herdecke University said.

Researchers have conducted the most comprehensive study yet into the effects of "tactical drinking" on hangover intensity.

'We should all pay attention to these red flags when drinking'.

Once you have a hangover, there is no magic cure, although rehydrating, painkillers such as paracetamol and ibuprofen, and sugary foods are some of the things that may ease your discomfort.

The researchers acknowledged limitations to their study.

Researchers at Witten/Herdecke University in Germany and the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom found that hangovers are equal-opportunity pests.

Dr Kai Hensel, senior author of the study from the University of Cambridge, said ridding yourself of alcohol meant less of it would be absorbed into the body, which might make you feel better the next day.

Participants were asked to judge how drunk they were at the end of each intervention before being given water and going to sleep at the study site. "In other words, they can help us learn from our mistakes".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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