Beer before wine, you'll feel fine? Not according to a new study
Beer, wine and cocktails are seen on a bar.
Jackie Dunham, CTVNews.ca Staff
Published Friday, February 8, 2019 8:40AM EST
You know the old adage: “Beer before wine, you’ll be fine; wine before beer, sick for a year.”
Well, you may not be “fine” after all according to a new study that found the order of beverages has no effect on the severity of a hangover.
The study suggests that regardless of what order you drink that glass of wine and pint of beer in, you’re probably still going to feel ill the next day.
Researchers from Witten/Herdecke University in Germany conducted two controlled studies where they split 90 students between the ages of 19 and 40 into three groups and gave them alcoholic drinks in different orders:
- In the first trial, one group of students was given two-and-a-half pints of beer followed by four large glasses of white wine.
- The second group of students drank the same amount of alcohol as the first group, but in the opposite order.
- The third group of students was given only beer or only wine.
A week later, the first two groups of students switched the order of the drinks they consumed and the third group drank the beverage they hadn’t consumed before.
In both trials, the students were medically supervised overnight and given water before bed.
The day after each trial, students were asked to rate the severity of their hangover symptoms -- such as headache, fatigue, dizziness, thirst, and nausea -- in a questionnaire.
The findings, published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition on Friday, show that the order of the drinks consumed had no significant effect on hangover intensity.
Instead, the study’s authors said the strongest predictors for the severity of the next day’s hangover were the participants’ perception of how drunk they were the night before and whether they vomited.
“Although this should rob tactical drinkers of the belief that they can reduce the aftereffects of a heavy night out by careful ordering of beverages, our findings suggest that ‘perceived drunkenness’ and ‘vomiting’ are useful predictors of misery in the morning after the night before,” the researchers wrote.
The trials were unable to predict the intensity of hangovers based on factors such as age, weight, or how often a subject drank, but they did find female participants metabolized alcohol differently than their male counterparts. The findings didn’t suggest women suffered from more severe hangovers than the men in the study, however.
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.
And as cruel as they may seem, hangovers serve an important purpose, according to the study’s authors.
“One should be mindful of the important benefits of a symptomatic hangover—a protective warning sign that will certainly have aided humans over the ages to modify future behaviour, and hence pass on this evolutionary advantage to next generations. Cheers!” they wrote.