There’s nothing worse than sitting in on a yarn at the local pub, hearing some bloke tell you that his craft beer will stop any sort of hangover in the morning. Or maybe he’s raving on about G&Ts or vodka sodas.
But next time he pulls that questionable chat out, you can throw a bit of science at him: no matter what you drink first, if you drink more than you should, you’re going to wake up with a pounding hangover, according to new research.
Findings published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition researchers from Witten/Herdecke University in Germany and the University of Cambridge in Britain found that it doesn’t matter what drink you order first, you’re still getting a hangover if you go too hard.
“(We’re) unable to confirm that the well-known folklore of drinking beer before wine purportedly results in a worse hangover than drinking wine before beer,” confirm the authors, led by Kai Hensel of Cambridge University.
“Our findings suggest that ‘perceived drunkenness’ and ‘vomiting’ are useful predictors of misery in the morning after the night before.”
“Unpleasant as hangovers are, we should remember that they do have one important benefit, at least – they are a protective warning sign that will certainly have aided humans over the ages to change their future behaviour. In other words, they can help us learn from our mistakes,” adds Hensel.
“Unfortunately, we found that there was no way to avoid the inevitable hangover just by favouring one order over another,” he says.
In their investigation, scientists recruited 90 volunteers between the ages of 19 and 40. They then divided them into three groups.
To test the differences in type of alcohol consumed, the first group was ordered to down two and a half pints of beer followed by four large glasses of wine. The second group drunk wine first followed by beer, consuming the same amount of alcohol.
Lastly, the remaining participants polished either beer or wine but not the other.
One week later, the volunteers returned reversing their drink order or drink of choice so that scientists could compare the results.
Both levels of wellbeing and drunkenness were monitored at regular intervals, rated on a scale between 0 and 10 at the end of each day. Before dozing off at night, participants received tailored amounts of water according to their bodyweight while also being monitored under medical supervision throughout the night.
In order to rate how hungover they felt the following morning, they recorded levels of dizziness, nausea, stomach ache, thirst, fatigue, headache, increased heart rate and loss of appetite.
Ultimately, results showed that alcoholic drink orders did not significantly affect the hangover score between the three groups.
They did note, however, that women tended to experience greater symptoms of heavy drinking than men.
“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,” explains author Joran Kochling, from Witten/Herdecke University.
“The truth is that drinking too much of any alcoholic drink is likely to result in a hangover,” he says. “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.”