‘Beer before wine, always fine?’ Not really, hungover study participants say

Wine first or beer, drinks cost you dear

The participants were ages 19 to 40, recruited by Germany's Witten/Herdecke University, and divvied into three groups.

We all know the rule - beer before wine makes you feel fine, wine before beer makes you feel queer.

Researchers gave alcoholic drinks to 90 volunteers as they sought to examine the "influence of the combination and order of beer and wine consumption on hangover intensity". The first drank around two-and-a-half pints of beer followed by four large glasses of white wine.

One week later, participants in the first two groups were switched to imbibe the opposite drinks, as were the control subjects who initially drank either beer or wine. The other two groups drank beer then wine or wine then beer. Everyone was kept under medical supervision overnight.

Rather, drinking too much alcohol of any kind - and in any order - will likely give you a hangover, the study researchers conclude. Despite folklore found throughout Europe claiming that the order in which people consume drinks allows them to control their subsequent headache, the team found no such evidence.

Jöran Köchling, from Witten/Herdecke University in Germany, who was the first author of the paper, said: "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".

The study, published in the February issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, was inspired by researchers wondering whether the rhymes regarding drinking have any basis in reality. "We should all pay attention to these red flags when drinking".

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The results pointed to the same result: there's no truth to the order of drinks making a difference to your hangover. The people who scored themselves higher on the 1 to 10 how-drunk-are-you scale at the end of the night and those who threw up at any point were the ones most likely to rate their hangover as severe.

Dr Kai Hensel added: 'Unfortunately, we found that there was no way to avoid the inevitable hangover just by favouring one order over another'.

The researchers acknowledged limitations to their study.

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.

"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".

Instead, the study's authors said the strongest predictors for the severity of the next day's hangover were the participants' perception of how drunk they were the night before and whether they vomited.

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