“Beer before wine and you’ll feel fine” and “Grape or grain but never the twain” may be age-old sayings, but they are myths. It doesn’t matter if people combine beer and wine or in what order they drink them—they’re likely to get an equally bad hangover.
That was demonstrated by a recent German study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, in which 90 volunteers (ages 19 to 40, generally healthy and customary drinkers) were split in three groups: One drank a fair amount of beer followed by white wine; the second did the reverse; and the third drank only wine or only beer (participants stopped drinking when they reached set breath alcohol levels, or earlier if desired).
The next day, participants reported their hangover symptoms. A week later, groups one and two reversed their order of beverages, while participants in group three switched beverages; then hangover symptoms were again reported. In the end, neither the type nor order of beverages significantly altered hangover intensity. Not surprisingly, the best predictors of hangover intensity were perceived drunkenness (during and after drinking) and vomiting.
This article first appeared in the UC Berkeley Wellness Letter.
Also see The Truth About Hangover Remedies.