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Does Drinking Beer Before Wine Really Prevent a Hangover?

Think that having beer before wine can prevent a hangover? A new study demystifies the old adage.

You're at your local pub grabbing drinks with a few friends, but it's a weekday night and you don't want to go overboard. Everyone agrees to pass on the Don Julio shots and stick to beer and wine instead. But when one of your pals orders a glass of Chardonnay and follows it up with an IPA, the old adage, "Beer before wine and you'll feel fine; wine before beer and you'll feel queer" comes to mind.

How legitimate is the saying?

These common cliches are frequently chanted, but is there any legitimacy to their claims? A recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition sought to find out.

Researchers divided 90 adults aged between 19 and 40 into three groups. Group one drank beer until their breath alcohol concentration (BAC) reached 0.05 percent or above and then drank wine to BAC of 0.11 percent or above. Group two drank wine first and then followed it with beer until reaching the same BACs. Control group subjects imbibed either only beer or only wine. After about a week, group one and group two participants were switched to the opposite drinking order, and control group participants who drank only beer on the first intervention switched to solely wine on the second study day and vice versa. The drinkers' hangover severity was assessed by the Acute Hangover Scale rating.

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What were the results?

Debunking old folklore, the researchers were unable to find a direct correlation to prove that drinking beer before wine can prevent a hangover. However, they do note that the darker the liquor, the more likely it is to wreak havoc on you the next day—which explains why bourbon causes a more severe hangover than vodka at the same alcohol concentration, the researchers state. What's more, the study addresses that your genes and how often you drink may play a bigger role than the order of the drinks you have regarding how severe your post-drinking hangover will be. Because we have yet to find out the ultimate hangover cure-all, we won't judge you for stocking up on Gatorade the night before and downing Pedialyte with a hearty breakfast sandwich the next morning.

April Benshosan
April is a born-and-raised Brooklynite who has a passion for all things health, wellness, and tastebud-related. Read more about April
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