Beer before wine or wine before beer?

Charles Smith

The old saying goes, beer before wine and you'll be fine - the next morning.

Determined to find a way to help people have a better day after a night out, the researchers recruited 90 fearless soulsin Germany between the ages of 19 and 40 to drink beer, wine or both.

"The truth is that drinking too much of any alcoholic drink is likely to result in a hangover", Köchling said.

Dr. Kai Hensel, a senior clinical fellow at the University of Cambridge, is the senior author of the new study paper, and Jöran Köchling is its first author. The first drank around two-and-a-half pints of beer followed by four large glasses of white wine.

Participants were monitored while drinking. The other two groups drank beer then wine or wine then beer.

The second group had the same amount of alcohol, but in reverse order.

The following week, the first two groups mixed up the order in which they drank and the third group (the control group) switched their alcohol choice.

The results showed that no matter what order you knock back your drinks in - if you have too much, you will pay the price for it the next day.

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"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", said study first author Joran Kochling, of Witten/Herdecke University.

In both trials, the students were medically supervised overnight and given water before bed. A randomized controlled multiarm matched-triplet crossover trial of beer and wine'. The following day they reported how intense their hangovers were, measuring them by scoring their thirst, fatigue, headache and nausea levels.

The researchers found that none of the three groups had a significantly different hangover score with different orders of alcoholic drinks, but women did tend to have slightly worse hangovers than men. 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.

Unfortunately, however, scientists have yet to find the ever-elusive "hangover cure" for which drinkers from time immemorial have been waiting. This amount would produce a hangover, but not one so severe that the participants would not take part in the study the next week.

Instead, hangover intensity was best predicted by whether the patients themselves felt that they were getting drunk, or if they threw up during their drinking.

"One should be mindful of the important benefits of a symptomatic hangover-a protective warning sign that will certainly have aided humans over the ages to modify future behaviour, and hence pass on this evolutionary advantage to next generations".

"In other words, they can help us learn from our mistakes".

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