Scientists have once and for all tested the age-old belief that drinking wine before bingeing on beer could prevent a nasty hangover.
Drinking For Science
Nearly 300 people have signed up to get drunk for a study to see if drinking wine before beer would really make a difference. Ultimately, only 90 were selected and completed the experiment.
The participants were divided into three groups: one group drank beer then wine, another group drank wine and then beer while a third group had people either drinking beer or wine exclusively.
The participants were handed two-and-a-half pints of beer and four large glasses of wine — way above the recommended amount by public health guidelines. After the experiment, everyone was asked to rate how drunk they were, report whether they vomited or not, and detail the intensity of the hangover they experienced the next day (based on the Acute Hangover Scale).
The researchers noted that they took precautions for the experiment. The study involved medical supervision and the participants were not given more booze than they can handle. All 90 people who were chosen were healthy, young, and would have drunk on their own anyway.
Liquor Before Beer Does Not Make A Difference After All
The researchers found that there is no truth in the popular phrase "Beer before liquor, never been sicker; liquor before beer, you're in the clear." The hangover score that the study participants reported after binge drinking is not influenced by whether they consumed beer or wine first.
However, the researchers found that the only indicator of how awful the next morning's hangover will feel is correlated with the drinker's perceived drunkenness and vomiting the night before.
"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," stated Kai Hensel, a senior clinical fellow at the University of Cambridge. "We should all pay attention to these red flags when drinking."
Joris Verster, an associate professor at Utrecht University and the founder of the International Alcohol Hangover Research Group, was not surprised by the findings. He explained in a statement to Forbes that beer and wine mix in the stomach/gastrointestinal tract during a binge anyway.
"As a result, the sequence beer/wine or wine/beer is not likely to have an impact on next-day alcohol hangovers," he shared.
The study was published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition on Friday, Feb. 8.