Does ‘Beer Before Wine’ Really ‘Make You Feel Fine’?
Grow Talk by Sofy Robertson
It’s a well-known mantra; ‘wine before beer, you should fear; beer before wine, makes you feel fine’. It also happens to be entirely false.
I’m going to hold my hands up here and say that, yes, it’s a mantra I tend to follow. However a new study has revealed that it makes no difference how you order your drinks.
Researchers from the University of Cambridge and Witten/Herdecke University in Germany gave ninety volunteers the difficult task of boozing on wine and beer in different orders.
The result? Ninety people with very sore heads.
The volunteers, aged between 19 and 40 years old, were recruited and split into three groups. The first group consumed two and a half pints of beer followed by four large glasses of wine.
The second group consumed the same amount of alcohol, but in reverse order. Those in the third, control group consumed either only beer or only wine.
A week later, participants in groups one and two were swapped to the opposite drinking order to improve the study’s reliability.
The control group who drank only beer on the first run received only wine for the second study group (and vice versa for the wine-only group). This means that the groups were not only compared to each other, but each participant was their own control too.
At regular intervals while drinking, participants were asked about their wellbeing and they were also asked to judge their perceived level of drunkenness on a scale of zero to ten at the end of each study day.
Before going to bed at the study site, each participant received an individualised amount of drinking water tailored to their body weight. They were kept under medical supervision overnight.
The next day, participants were questioned about their hangover and given a score from 0-56 using the Acute Hangover Scale (yes, that really is a thing) based on factors including thirst, headache, fatigue, nausea, increased heart rate and loss of appetite.
The researchers found that none of the three groups had a significantly different hangover score with different orders of alcoholic drinks. Interestingly, they discovered that women tended to have slightly worse hangovers than men.
Jöran Köchling, from Witten/Herdecke University, explained:
“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.
“The truth is that drinking too much of any alcoholic drink is likely to result in a hangover. 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.” (Huffington Post)
So if it weren’t enough to listen to the voice of reason inside our own heads, the voice of science has now spoken.