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'Beer before wine' won't lessen your hangover, study finds

'Beer before wine' won't lessen your hangover, study finds
Copyright Pexels/Burst
Copyright Pexels/Burst
By Alice Tidey
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"Grape before grain" holds no truth whatsoever, scientists in the UK and Germany have found.


Scientists in the UK and Germany have joined forces to answer an age-old mystery: whether the expression "beer before wine and you'll feel fine; wine before beer and you'll feel queer" has any merit.

Drinkers the world over have relied on these expressions to lessen the pain the morning after the night before.

But the study published on Friday in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition concluded that the old saying is nothing but a myth.

Ninety volunteers between the ages of 19 and 40 participated in the research.

They were split into three groups:

  1. The first drank two pints of beer followed by four large glasses of wine

  2. The second also drank both alcohols but in reverse order

  3. The third drank only wine or beer.

Participants were plied with more alcohol at a later date, with the first two groups switching to the opposite drinking regimen, while the third group drank only wine or beer depending on what they had consumed the week before.

They were asked to refrain from drinking alcohol in the week preceding each binge and were handed out standardised meals, calculated to their individual needs based on gender and age.

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. The following day they reported how intense their hangovers were, measuring them by scoring their thirst, fatigue, headache and nausea levels.

Unfortunately, for tactical drinkers, "using white wine and lager beer, we didn't find any truth in the idea that drinking beer before wine gives you a milder hangover than the other way around", Joran Kochling from the Witten/Herdecke University said in a statement.

Kai Hensel from the University of Cambridge added: "The truth is that drinking too much of any alcoholic drink is likely to result in a hangover."

"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. We should all pay attention to these red flags when drinking," he went on.


Your view | Do you have a similar expression to "beer before wine and you'll feel fine; wine before beer and you'll feel queer" in your language? We'd love to hear it, let us know in the comments below.

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