Drinking and Cancer - © boldsky.com

Beer Before Wine, Or Wine Before Beer?

You’d think serious scientists would have more important, more compelling topics to investigate than how the mixing of alcoholic beverages affects your resulting hangover. Apparently not a group of clinicians at the University of Cambridge…

If this looks like your kitchen table every Sunday morning,
you really need to read this post…

There’s an old adage that’s supposed to act as a guide to boozers who mix their drinks: ‘Beer before wine and you’ll feel fine; wine before beer and you’ll feel queer’. Researchers at the University of Cambridge in the UK wanted to see if it was true.

What they did…

A group of 90 volunteer subjects aged 19 to 40 was divided into three separate ‘teams’: “The first group consumed around two and a half pints of Beer followed by four large glasses of Wine. The second group consumed the same amounts of Alcohol, but in reverse order. Subjects in the third, control group consumed either only beer or only wine.” After a rest and recovery period, the first two groups were switched and consumed Beer and Wine in the opposite order to their first trial. The overall amount of alcohol consumed in each trial was equal for all subjects.

Subjects were quizzed on their self-perceived degree of drunkenness at intervals throughout the trials. They were also quizzed on the severity of their hangovers the next day after sleeping off their drunks under controlled conditions. For the latter measurement, researchers say they used the Acute Hangover Scale, a continuum of 0-56 on which subjects were asked to place themselves. The Scale takes into account, ‘factors including thirst, fatigue, headache, dizziness, nausea, stomach ache, increased heart rate and loss of appetite’.

What they found…

The study showed that it didn’t matter whether the subjects drank Wine before Beer or the reverse, or just drank one or the other.

The researchers also noted: “Hangover symptoms occur when higher-than-normal blood alcohol concentrations drop back to zero. Surprisingly, the phenomenon is not particularly [well] understood, though it is thought that the underlying causes include dehydration, our immune response, and disturbances of our metabolism and hormones. Hangovers are likely to be influenced by ingredients other than the pure alcohol content. Colourings and flavourings have been suggested as making hangovers worse, which might explain why, at the same alcohol concentration, Bourbon causes a more severe hangover than Vodka.”

The takeaway…

Drink too much of any Alcoholic beverage and you’ll wake up the next morning with a hangover. Researchers also commented that there are no scientifically proven cures for the common hangover, but many folk remedies persist in popularity among the desperate. About all you can do to alleviate hangover symptoms is drink water to address your dehydration.

My take…

I remember seeing in a movie back in the 80s about celebrity life in Malibu. One of the residents along the beach was a celebrity MD who got invited to all the parties because he could always be counted on to have a healthy supply of injectable vitamin B12 in his little black bag. That was supposed to chase away a hangover by revving up the metabolism so the bad stuff would be flushed out of your system quicker. I’m not sure it really did any good, but that’s as close as I am aware of that legitimate science has come to a clinical cure.

Seriously… Keep a pitcher of nice cold water on hand in the fridge. Have a glass or two right after a major drinking episode if you can stomach it. Definitely sip some the morning after – again, if you can stomach it. The best idea? Just don’t drink too much in the first place.

~ Maggie J.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *