'Beer before wine, always fine' saying a myth

Pearl Mccarthy
February 10, 2019

Control group subjects consumed either only beer or only wine.

For this advancement of science, we have to thank 90 courageous 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.

While you may not be able to prevent a hangover by drinking alcohol in a certain order, you should be sure to cut yourself some slack the next day.

However a new study has found it to be a complete myth.

We've all heard the saying "wine before beer, you should fear; beer before wine, you'll feel fine" - but it turns out they're not words to live by. The first group consumed two and a half pints of beer followed by four large glasses of wine. During the drinking task, the participants were asked to rate their perceived level of drunkness. The students were split into two groups of 31, as well as a control group of 28.

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

The results showed that no matter what order you knock back your drinks in - if you have too much, you will pay the price for it the next day.

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Those who drank only beer the first time in the third group received only wine during the second round, and vice versa.

Researchers gave alcoholic drinks to 90 volunteers as they sought to examine the "influence of the combination and order of beer and wine consumption on hangover intensity". The control group switched their drinks. All volunteers were kept under medical supervision overnight.

The study found that changing the order of the beverages made no significant difference to the hangovers and that it was also hard to predict the intensity of a hangover even with given information like your age and weight. This amount would produce a hangover, but not one so severe that the participants would not take part in the study the next week. "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.

And although they didn't find a way to drink that would help people feel better the day after, the researchers say hangovers are not always bad news.

Dr Kai Hensel, a senior clinical fellow at Cambridge University and senior author of the study, said: "Unpleasant as hangovers are, we should remember that they do have one important benefit, at least: they are a protective warning sign that will certainly have aided humans over the ages to change their future behaviour".

Men and women are both advised not to drink more than 14 units of alcohol per week.

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