Thursday, April 25, 2019

Beer before wine? It makes no difference to a hangover

“Beer before wine and you’ll feel fine, wine before beer and you’ll feel queer” – many of us may swear by this time-honoured tip when “mixing” our drinks.

But a new study has refuted the idea that the order we have alcoholic drinks in affects the severity of a hangover.

To test the theory, they gave 90 students drinks in varying orders, switching the order a week later.

The study found that how drunk people felt and whether they vomited provided the best indicators for the next day.

People should pay attention to these “red flags” to lessen the chances of a bad hangover, scientists say.

Testing age-old ‘wisdom’
Many of us will have our own ideas about what prevents a hangover or makes it more bearable when it has started.

But surprisingly little is understood about what exactly causes a hangover, and science has found no truly effective remedy.

So to test the wisdom that the order in which we have alcoholic drinks affects how we feel the following day, scientists took 90 students aged between 19 and 40 from Witten/Herdecke University in Germany and split them into three groups:

the first group drank around two-and-a-half pints of lager, followed by four large glasses of white wine
the second had the same amounts of alcohol, but in reverse order
the third had only beer or wine (a control group)
A week later, participants in the first two groups switched around, while those in the control group changed to the other alcoholic drink.

Participants were asked to judge how drunk they were at the end of each study day and were kept under medical supervision overnight.

Changing the order of drinks made no significant difference to hangover scores, which were measured using a questionnaire, the study found.

It was also not possible to predict hangover intensity based on factors such as age, body weight, drinking habits and how often people usually got hangovers.

However, there was a difference between the sexes, with women tending to have slightly worse hangovers than men.

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. We should all pay attention to these red flags when drinking.”

‘Early warning system’
Though hangovers are not well understood by science, it is thought that causes include dehydration, our immune systems, and disturbances of our metabolism and hormones.

Colourings and flavourings may also make hangovers worse, which might explain why drinks of the same concentration can cause a more severe hangover.

One of the study’s findings was that those who vomited were more likely to have a bad hangover.

So does that mean that the so-called “tactical chunder” – where people deliberately purge themselves of alcohol to lessen a hangover or make themselves less drunk – is also a myth?

Dr Kai Hensel, senior author of the study from the University of Cambridge, said ridding yourself of alcohol meant less of it would be absorbed into the body, which might make you feel better the next day.

But Dr Hensel said he would still not recommend it.

“If you arrive at a point where you need to be sick you’ve probably passed the point of no return,” he added.

However, as unpleasant as they are, hangovers do serve a purpose – experts say they are nature’s warning system to encourage us to drink less.

The study is published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Tips to avoid a hangover
Once you have a hangover, there is no magic cure, although rehydrating, painkillers such as paracetamol and ibuprofen, and sugary foods are some of the things that may ease your discomfort.

But there are steps you can take to reduce the chance of getting one in the first place, beyond the obvious – drinking less.

These include:

not drinking on an empty stomach
not drinking dark-coloured drinks if you have found you are sensitive to them (they contain chemicals that irritate blood vessels and tissue in the brain and can make a hangover worse)
drinking water or non-fizzy soft drinks in between each alcoholic drink
drinking a pint or so of water before you go to sleep



Stay Connected


Abonnez-vous à la Newsletter

Latest News

Blaise Essama

Blaise Essama, activiste connu dans la ville de Douala en détention depuis hier.

L'attente n'a pas trop duré. Celle de la traque de Celui qui a décapité la tête du monument du général Leclerc. La chasse à l'homme...

Deux mineurs de 15 et 16 ans, écroués à la prison de Kondengui depuis...

Les deux infortunés, élève et écolier, sont en prison depuis un mois. La justice les soupçonne d’avoir volé la somme de 200 000 FCFA...

Afrique: CAN U17 – Le Cameroun rejoint la Guinée en finale

Dar-Es-Salam — La finale de la 13-ème édition de la CAN U17 opposera ce dimanche la Guinée au Cameroun, ce dimanche au National stadium...
Port de Kribi

Cameroun: Performances – Les nouveaux chiffres du port de Kribi

Après un an de sa mise en service officielle, la structure revendique avoir enregistré 329 escales de navires, avec un peu plus de 157...

Nécrologie: décès brutal du fils de Emmanuel Atangana

L'ancien rédacteur en chef du poste national de la CRTV, aujourd'hui exerçant comme chef de la division de la technologie de l'information et de...