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Drinking beer before wine might not prevent a hangover: Study

It is popularly believed that having a beer before wine or vice-versa can result in a bad hangover. However, a recent study, as reported by The Guardian, states that one’s drinking order does not prevent a hangover.

It is popularly believed that having a beer before wine or vice-versa can result in a bad hangover. However, a recent study, as reported by The Guardian, states that one’s drinking order does not prevent a hangover. In order to arrive at the result, British and German researchers, under controlled laboratory conditions, examined 90 people to understand if the order in which the drinks are consumed affects the hangover.

“Everyone knows the saying – beer before wine and you’ll feel fine; wine before beer and you’ll feel queer. We thought there must be something in it, how can we test it?” Kai Hensel, a senior clinical fellow at Cambridge University.

The participants, who were within the age group of 19 to 40, were given a regular meal and were then divided into three large groups. The first group was made to drink about two and a half pints of lager. This was followed by four large glasses of white wine. In the case of the second group, the same drinks were offered but the order was reversed. The third group was given beer or wine limited to the same breath alcohol concentration. In order to ensure that everybody has some alcohol in their systems, everyone consumed up to 0.11 percent alcohol.

The volunteers were carefully observed and were later asked how they were feeling. All of them were given a glass of water before retiring for the night. They were then asked about their hangover and were measured on acute hangover scale which had distinctive rank factors such as fatigue, nausea, thirst, dizziness, headache, rapid heart rate, among others.

The same exercise was repeated a week later. Except, this time those who had wine before beer were asked to start with beer first, and vice versa. A list of hangover symptoms were noted down but the results, as published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, reveals that the order had no relation to the “hangover intensity”.

“We debunked the saying, it’s not true. You’re going to be the same whatever order you drink these beverages in” Hensel said. He also revealed that the study only concerned itself with comparing beer with white wine. Other wines or dark beers were not considered.

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,” Jöran Köchling, first author on the study said.

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