Sometimes, when we head off to a party or for a night out, our plans to drink alcohol moderately and responsibly end up flying out the window! Advice abounds on how to cure a hangover, and also on how to avoid getting one in the first place, but what about that classic adage ‘Beer after wine and you’ll feel fine?’ Or even the other way round? Is there any truth in this?
It’s hard to imagine how the order in which beer and wine hit your stomach could alter the effect that they have on you. You have to be especially suspicious because this idea is completely unknown in some countries, such as Belgium, even though both drinks are popular. There could be a hint of truth in the saying after all, though. If you think about it, wine has always been more of a table drink, enjoyed as an accompaniment to food, whereas beer is often enjoyed when socialising with friends, on its own, without food. If, during the course of an evening, you find that you’ve switched from ‘wine mode’ to ‘beer mode’, it’s often because you’ve continued drinking after you’ve finished eating, so you’re downing more alcohol having eaten! As so often in life, it all comes down to moderation and, as this is sometimes difficult when you’re in merry company, here are a couple of my own tips for ‘hangover prevention’:
- Drink a glass of mineral water between alcoholic drinks. This not only curbs your thirst for wine and beer but also counters the dehydration that occurs when your body breaks down alcohol. My rule of thumb is: Always drink at least as much water as you do wine or beer.
- Fresh air really does work wonders! Going for a walk in the fresh air after drinking, but before going to bed, almost always helps me to sleep better, and I wake up with a clearer head the next morning.
Instead of ‘Beer after wine and you’ll feel fine’, next time you’re heading out on the razzle, remember: Water after wine, and water after beer, plus a little fresh air. Not quite as catchy though.