Print Edition - 2019-03-14  |  Health and Living

Beer or wine, either might not be fine

  • Alcohol myth

Mar 14, 2019-

The old adage that drinking beer before wine prevents hangovers turns out to be a myth, German researchers say. In a formal study, they found the order in which one consumes alcohol is irrelevant to how one feels the morning after.

Dr Kai Hensel, who now works at the University of Cambridge in the UK and colleagues enrolled 105 volunteers with an average age in their early 20s (about half were women) and randomly assigned them to one of three groups. In one group, over about five hours, participants drank Carlsberg beer until they reached the legal driving limit (a breath alcohol concentration of at least 0.05 percent). Then they switched to drinking wine until their breath alcohol concentration had roughly doubled.

In a second group, the order of drinking was reversed, with participants consuming wine first and then beer. In a third group, participants drank only beer. A week later, in a second session, researchers switched things up.

Alcohol consumption could be terminated early at the volunteer’s request or if safety concerns were raised. All volunteers slept overnight at the study center after consuming the alcohol, under medical supervision.

The drinks mix up in the stomach and gastrointestinal tract, and the hangover starts several hours after stopping drinking, when the blood alcohol level returns to zero, Verster, who was not associated with the study, said.

The researchers also found that hangover intensity was linked with participants’ self-perceived levels of drunkenness and vomiting the night before It’s important, they advise, to beware of drunkenness “red flags” to reduce hangover intensity.

Published: 14-03-2019 11:00

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