“My child, I have learned many things throughout my life, but if I had to pass on but one salient piece of advice, it would be this; ‘Anything that rhymes must be true.’ Any phrase, any aphorism that rhymes, is inherently truthful. Whoever smelt it dealt it, etc. they’re all true. Remember that.” And with those words, he boarded the ship, bound for Antartica, loaded with the cargo for its ill-fated mission; to try establish the world’s most Southerly golf equipment shop. Despite managing to build the shop, financial insolvency soon hit after the passing foot traffic – predominantly, the occasional lost polar explorer and confused penguins, two groups which naturally had no cause, or means, to purchase golfing equipment – proved insufficient to keep it afloat. Their lack of funds soon resulted in them all, attempting to eat their remaining stock for sustenance, before eventually starving to death.
Well, as with so many things my father did, he has yet again been proven catastrophically wrong. A team of researchers have shown that there is no truth to the old adage, “Beer before wine, you’ll feel fine, Wine before beer, you’ll feel queer.”
A joint German and British team of researchers set out to test whether the old aphorism actually holds water. They gathered some 90 volunteers, aged between 19-40 and proceeded to ply them full of alcohol to study the resultant hangovers.
The study, which begins with a vaguely pithy pun but really drops off in its accessibility, is entitled; Grape Or Grain But Never The Twain? A Randomized Controlled Multiarm Matched-Triplet Crossover Trial Of Beer And Wine was published today in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
To ascertain their results, they split the group of 90 people, 45 men and 45 women, into 3 groups, two of 31 and a control of 28. The first they gave beer to until they each showed a breath alcohol concentration(BrAC) reading on a breathylser of .05%, before switching them to wine until they registered .11% on the breathylser. The second group went through the same process but drinking wine first followed by beer. The third group were used as a control and only drank one or the other.
They then performed the experiment again a week later, with the first and second group swapping their drinking regimens. Those in the control group who had drink beer then drank just wine and vice versa.
Over both of the experiment sessions they analysed each group through their drinking regimens for signs of drunkenness, most notable of these being some of the people vomiting absolutely everywhere. The researchers then analysed the severity of hangovers reported by individuals within each group across both drinking days and compared the results to see whether there was any notable difference in the severity of the hangover based on the order of drinking or whether either wine or beer provoked a stronger hangover.
They found that there was no meaningful statistical variant in the severity of the hangovers experience by the participants based on whether they drank either wine or beer first. So, unfortunately, it appears that there’s no truth to the old adage.