If you think you can outsmart alcohol, think again. While some people swear “beer before wine and you’ll feel fine,” a new study shows that you’re going to wake up not feeling so great no matter what tricks you try.
The study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, tested various theories about drinking beer and wine. Does wine give worse hangovers or does beer? And does the order in which you drink them matter?
For the study, researchers from Witten/Herdecke University in Germany and the University of Cambridge tested 90 students, ages 19 to 40 by splitting them in to three groups.
The BBC reports that one group drank 2.5 pints of beer followed by four glasses of white wine. The second group drank four glasses of white wine followed by 2.5 pints of beer. The third group, the control group, was given only given beer or wine enough to spike their blood alcohol level to 0.11 percent.
Researchers conducted the testing, and then tested again a week later, this time, swapping the students drink orders. The control group was given the other beverage.
Participants were asked to evaluate how drunk they felt after each portion of the study.
The following day they were asked to answer questions about their hangover symptoms including their level of dizziness, headache, fatigue, thirst, and nausea.
The study found that changing the order of the drinks made no difference in the hangover symptoms students reported on their questionnaires. Also, it didn’t matter if students had just beer or just wine — there was no significant variation of symptoms.
Furthermore, the study found that it was impossible to predict hangover intensity using factors like age and body weight.
Jöran Köchling, of Witten/Herdecke and first author of the paper, said, “The only reliable way of predicting how miserable you’ll feel the next day is by how drink you feel and whether you are sick. We should all pay attention to these red flags when drinking.”
Once you have a hangover there is no magic pill to cure yourself. While hangovers are not very well understood by science, it’s thought they are caused by dehydration, suppressed immune systems, and disturbances in metabolism and hormones.
While switching from wine to beer might not decrease your likelihood of a hangover, there are a few steps you can take to reduce your chance of feeling lousy:
- Don’t drink on an empty stomach.
- Avoid dark-colored drinks because they may irritate blood vessels in sensitive people.
- Drink water between alcoholic beverages, and another glass before you go to bed.
And of course, if those don’t help, there’s always the obvious — drinking less.
Also see, Why drinking at the beach is a bad idea.