Beer before wine does not change hangover severity

Leslie Hanson
February 10, 2019

Control group subjects consumed either only beer or only wine.

Publishing their findings in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the study saw the team recruit 90 volunteers, aged between 19 and 40 years old, and split them into three groups. Vodka, for instance, was found to be the alcohol least likely to give you a hangover in an earlier study.

However a new study has found it to be a complete myth.

Volunteers in the third group had either only beer or only wine. The first had around two-and-a-half pints of beer and then four large glasses of white wine.

All participants were asked to self-assess how drunk they were at the end of each experiment via a questionnaire. Study group 1 consumed beer up to a breath alcohol concentration (BrAC) ≥0.05% and then wine to BrAC ≥0.11% (vice versa for study group 2).

The second group consumed the same drinks but in reverse order.

Washington D.C, February 8: European researchers have now said that try as you may to change up the order of your alcoholic beverages, if you indulge too much in drinks, you will still be hung-over.


In both trials, the students were medically supervised overnight and given water before bed.

In addition to the English "Grape or grain, but never the twain", Germans say "Wein auf Bier, das rat' ich Dir-Bier auf Wein, das lass' sein" (Wine after beer, I recommend it; beer after wine, let it be), and the French say "Bière sur vin est venin, vin sur bière est belle manière" (Beer after wine is poison, wine after beer is the attractive way).

After interviews the following day, each participant received a hangover score based on factors such as thirst, fatigue, headache, dizziness, nausea, stomach ache, increased heart rate and loss of appetite.

A joint study by researchers from the Witten/Herdecke University in Germany and the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom put the old sayings to the test, using 90 volunteers split into three groups.

The researchers, led by Dr. Kai Hensel, a senior clinical fellow at the University of Cambridge, found there was no significant difference between the three groups in terms of hangovers. However, vomiting and perceived drunkenness were associated with more severe hangover, the study authors said.

And although they didn't find a way to drink that would help people feel better the day after, the researchers say hangovers are not always bad news. "We should all pay attention to these red flags when drinking", Köchling said.

In this multiarm, parallel randomized controlled matched-triplet crossover open-label interventional trial, participants were matched into triplets and randomly assigned according to age, gender, body composition, alcohol drinking habits, and hangover frequency. "They can help us learn from our mistakes".

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