It Doesn’t Matter which Order you Drink, a Hangover is a Hangover
Drinking alcohol causes a hangover. This is a direct result of alcohol poisoning, causing symptoms of dehydration, nausea, headaches and all of the other ailments one might associate with ‘the morning after’.
It’s often considered that mixing your drinks and consuming different types of alcohol can make your hangover worse, therefore it is considered wise to stick to the same type of drink through the night. Sadly though, the research suggests otherwise and that in reality, it doesn’t matter what you drink, it’s the volume that contributes to the severity of your hangover.
Many of us will have our own remedies and miracle cures for fixing a hangover, or maybe even have ways to prevent it before it’s even started (pre-night out rituals for example), though now it seems that even this isn’t enough to stop the devils of alcohol poisoning from having a big impact the morning after.
A recent study has experimented on a number of participants, getting them to drink various drinks before rating their hangover. Measurements where also taken to assess if the participants vomited.
Putting it to the test
According to a report by the BBC:
In order to test the age-old wisdom that mixing drinks affects how we feel the following day, scientists took 90 students aged from 19 to 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 which was followed by four big glasses of white wine. The next group had the same amount of alcohol but it was in reverse order instead. The third group only had beer or wine.
One week later, the participants of the test that was 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.
In the end, changing the order of drinks made no significant difference to the hangover scores which were measured using a questionnaire.
Joran Kochling is one of the authors of the paper from the German University and 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.”
Based on this research, it’s pretty clear that the amount you drink is the issue here, as opposed to the order in which you drink or mix your alcohol. Before going on a night out or consuming alcohol, there are a number of steps that can be taken to reduce the overall impact alcohol has on the body. This won’t stop your hangover, but can ensure that when you drink alcohol, your body is better prepared to cope with it.
Eat before you drink, not drinking on an empty stomach can help your body process the alcohol more efficiently.
Avoiding ‘dark coloured’ drinks can also help. Darker alcoholic drinks such as red wine and stout contain chemicals that can cause problems with blood vessels and brain tissues. People can be sensitive to these chemicals and thus, the hangover can be made more severe.
Drinking water in between alcoholic drinks will help to ensure you remain hydrated, as alcohol does dehydrate you. Further hydration can be ensured by consuming water just before you go to bed.
There is no cure for a hangover. The best thing to do is to drink less, or to not drink at all. Remember that when you do drink, you should drink responsibly and should ensure that you only drink in moderation.
For further advice regarding alcohol and drinking, see the Drinkaware Website: https://www.drinkaware.co.uk/